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If Governors' appointments are arbitrary, political and unilateral, then why so much of noise when they are sacked?
Finally Kamla Beniwal, the governor of Mizoram was sacked. She is the 2nd Governor to be removed in the tenure of Modi government after removal of Puducherry's Lt. Governor Virendra Kataria. Main opposition party Congress was quick to criticize the move citing vendetta politics.
Before coming to this topic, let us know how a Governor despite being the occupant of a high constitutional post on most of the times remains in controversy. Governor is executive head of state. His stature in the state is like the President of the country. Functions of a Governor are similar to the President's function.

In case the central government falls, then in such case the President asks the Prime Minister to function as a caretaker Prime Minister till next government forms. Generally caretaker government functions like it is fulfilling formalities because no policy decisions are taken by it.

But Vajpayee as a caretaker Prime Minister fought Kargil war against Pakistan where very vital decisions were taken despite his status of a caretaker PM. That means in any case, when a government resigns and election is the only alternative still President can't rule the country directly. On the other hand if a state government loses majority in the assembly, then President's rule is imposed and in such case Governor assumes the chief administrator's role (at par with Chief Minister).

Interestingly President is an elected authority, whereas Governor is a selected. Governor can be terminated by President on the recommendation of Prime Minister. No impeachment provision is there for Governors whereas there is provision for President.

Now because Governors are selected by the government, naturally discretion works. When there is discretion naturally such appointments would be political, arbitrary and unilateral. Now because Governor's fate depends on central government/ruling party, the governors become pro- ruling party/ government. That's why governors appointed by previous governments are usually either forced to resign or sacked. Even Supreme Court ruled that Governors should be given security of term but no law on this is either formulated or the old provision is amended.

Many experts describe governorship as 'Plush Old age homes' where governor doesn't stay impartial and acts against popular leaders of the state. In 1984, AP governor (Congress government appointee) Ram Lal dismissed N.T. Ramarao government and allowed N.B. Rao government for 31 days.

In Jharkhand too, despite NDA's number, Jharkhand governor appointed Shibu Soren as Chief Minister. It was the parading of MLA's at Delhi by the NDA and Supreme Court's intervention, that Soren had to resign finally. And then Arjun Munda took oath as CM.

Even in Beniwal's case too she became bête noir of Modi, then CM of Gujurat, of course at the behest of her political masters. UPA government had no way to harm Modi in Gujarat, thus harassing through governor was the only option! As always said that Modi never forgets nor forgives, thus Beniwal's removal may be considered as a political vendetta.

But point is different. If the appointments are arbitrary, politically motivated and purely based on loyalty to the ruling party in power, then why hue and cry when they are removed or sacked. If the appointment process is not honest, ethical and transparent, how can the removal process be?

Where there is no such hard rule, sometimes tradition sets a precedent to be adhered to? The Congress in its long rule had made office of the governor as their party office and appointed and sacked them as per whim.

When Vajpayee government assumed charge, they decided not to remove the governors appointed by the previous government. That was a gracious step and set a precedence which needed to be adhered in future. But when accidentally Vajapayee lost and Congress-led UPA took over the charge, the first thing they did was to remove all NDA appointed governors except S.S. Barnala of Tamil Nadu.

A good precedence initiated by Vajpayee was smashed at a stroke by the Congress-led government. Wasn't that vendetta? If yes, then what wrong the Modi government did? Vajpayee was a true gentleman and despite knowing Congress antics tried to correct some bad things trusting that the Congress may adhere.

But here is Narendra Modi who is a no-nonsense leader. He always answers to his opponent in their language. Thus more governors are set to either resign or be sacked. There would be some petty reasons for sacking, but practically the original reason would be political.

Now question is, can we have a decent office of Governor that's not loyal to the ruling party and impartial! Well it can happen if and if Congress intent for a long term solution. Already NDA under Vajpayee had been betrayed on this case.

There must be a transparent system for appointing governors and equally transparent system for their removal too (through impeachment). If there can be a system for appointment and removal of CVC, Lokpal. Lokayukta etc, why there can't be a system for the governors too!

Let there be a collegium to recommend names, let there be a system for appointment of governors involving, PM, LOP and concerned CM. Will anybody agree on such methods?

Perhaps Governor is the only office which can be termed as 'Morning appointed, evening terminated!' Let good sense prevail on our politicians to make this high office a prestigious one!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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narendra modi
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