PM Narendra Modi in a meeting with Assam Governor Janaki Ballabh Patnaik in New Delhi on Wednesday.
PM Narendra Modi in a meeting with Assam Governor Janaki Ballabh Patnaik in New Delhi on Wednesday.

New Delhi : There has been no let-up in the war of words between the Congress and the BJP over the question of the continuity of the UPA-era governors in their respective Raj Bhavans after the advent of the Narendra Modi government.

Even as Congress spokespersons have been marshalling arguments in favour of these UPA-era appointees, the BJP has been claiming that without much ado and keeping the prestige and dignity of these high offices, these appointees should step down on their own.

“This is the writing on the wall, and this has been tradition so far,” said BJP’s Nalin Kohli. However a look at the appointment dates of these incumbents, and by consequence their date of retirement shows that at least two of these appointees – Hansraj Bharadwaj in Karnataka and Jagannath Pahadia in Haryana are on their way out. Bharadwaj’s term ends on June 29th, and Pahadia will complete his tenure on July 27th. Besides, them, three other governors Kamla Beniwal (Gujarat) E S L Narasimhan (Andhra Pradesh), J B Patnaik (Assam) are also due to retire later this year.

Beniwal completes her term in November whereas other two would be completing their tenures in December. However after the state of Andhra Pradesh was split into Seemandhra and Telangana, Narasimhan was given the charge of both the states, and by that logic could claim that this is a fresh appointment.

The UPA government did not appoint governors in one go, and thus the date of retirement also differs. Thus next year, five governors- M K Narayanan (West Bengal) Shekhar Dutt (Chhattisgarh) Urmila Singh (Himachal Pradesh) K Sankarnarayanan (Maharashtra) and Shivraj Patil (Punjab) would be completing their tenures. Then in 2016, four governors- Syed Ahmed (Jharkhand), Ram Naresh Yadav (Madhya Pradesh), Vakkom Purshottam (Mizoram) and K Rosiah (Tamilnadu) will complete their term. After this in 2017, three governors Aziz Quereshi (Uttakhand), Margaret Alva (Rajasthan) and Bharat Wanchoo (Goa) will end their tenures.

In 2018, seven governors will retire- Devendra Konwar (Tripura), S D patil(Sikkim), S C Jamir (Odisha), Nirbhaya Sharma (Arunachal Pradesh), D Y Patil (Bihar), V K Duggal (Manipur), and K K Paul (Meghalaya). Only Shiela Dixit (Kerala) would be retiring in 2019.

The point is in their desire to have a Congress Mukt Bharat ( an India free from Congress), the political bosses in the BJP do not seem to have the patience to observe these beneficiaries of the now ousted UPA regime to enjoy the perks and powers of the Raj Bhawans, whereas their own aspirants have to wait for the fruits of power. ‘After 2010 Supreme Court order, the situation is not the same. A government at the centre cannot simply dismiss governors, although all governments have done it in the past. These are constitutional posts and we should not bring politics into these after the SC order,” said

Congress spokesperson

Raj Babbar.

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