The Congress on Wednesday kept up attack on the government over removal of governors appointed during United Progressive Alliance rule, saying its priority should be to combat inflation and not "shadow boxing" while the Janata Dal-United demanded a debate in Parliament over the very need of having governors.
Maintaining that there is a long history to the "partisan attitude" of Governors, JD-U leader K C Tyagi said, "What the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government is doing today, the same has been done in the past by the UPA government as well. And it has been seen in the past that most of the time a governor's authority is misused."
In a statement, Tyagi, while citing various instances of "misuse" of power by governors and their shuffling by different governments, said, "When the debate on governor's appointment has already started then why not look at the role and the process of appointment of a governor?”
"The JD-U will like to initiate a meaningful debate in the coming budget session of the parliament the code of conduct, roles and responsibilities of a Governor and also look at the need of the post of governor."
The Congress said that the NDA government's priority this time should have been checking inflation and not "political vendetta" and "shadow boxing". Party leader and former information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari tweeted, "Why BJP govt violating spirit of Constitution Bench Judgement in Singal's matter by pressurising Governors to resign! Is this democratic?"
Mahila Congress chief and another party spokesperson Shobha Oza said that the government's priority right now should be checking price rise and inflation in place of "some political vendetta" like removal of governors or chairpersons of some commissions.
Her colleague Sandip Dikshit said that governors are constitutional posts and they should be allowed to remain that. He said that the Supreme Court judgment makes it clear that you cannot replace Governors whimsically simply because they have a different political thinking.
Another party spokesperson PC Chacko said that the resignation of governors is not a political issue. "If the governors have to resign, the propriety is that the President calls them and asks them to resign and not some officer calling them and asking them to put in their papers. The government is engaged in some sort of shadow boxing," he said.
The government's move to replace the governors has also met with some apparent resistance from some of those who were asked to quit. Among those who are understood to have been called by Home Secretary Anil Goswami are Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan, a Congressman from Kerala, Diskhit, a former Delhi chief minister who was appointed just on the eve of announcement of Lok Sabha polls, West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan and Nagaland Governor Ashwani Kumar, a former Central Bureau of investigation director.
Holding that since governors are appointed by the Centre, they look for directions coming from the Centre rather than cooperating with the state government, JD-U general secretary Tyagi said that the ruling party at the Centre should take the consent of the state government before appointment of a governor.
He said that appointment and role of the governor which is a Constitutional requirement, has become a point of debate and criticism in the public forum and media.
"Since the post has become a political appointment to draw political mileage by the then Central government at the helm of affairs, there is reason to re-look at the appointment and the role and code of conduct under which a governor should perform neutrally," he said.