Bihar governor mired in fresh row

Bihar governor mired in fresh row

A week before Bihar Governor Devanand Konwar is scheduled to leave for Agartala, where he will take oath as Tripura Governor, he got himself mired into a fresh controversy.

Though transferred on March 9 for the alleged row over appointments of vice-chancellors (VCs) in Bihar, Konwar, before demitting his office as Chancellor, appointed Anjani Kumar Sinha as the VC of Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University. He also appointed two other persons – Raja Ram and Padmasha Jha – as Pro-VCs of Patna University and BRA Bihar University respectively.

After the notification was issued, a Nitish regime was seething with rage. “This is unprecedented. The propriety demands that he could have avoided such appointments when he is on transfer. He could have easily left the decision to the new governor,” said Bihar’s Education Minister PK Sahi.

But Konwar remained unfazed. “The appointments have been made by the same old committee. I have not added any new name. Everything has been done as per the rules and the court order. The high court did not make any adverse comment against any VC in its order nor did the government provide any substantial evidence to debar any of them,” said the outgoing governor while defending his actions as Chancellor of the State. Actually, Konwar has been in the eye of storm ever since he, on February 9, re-appointed all the interim VCs, whose appointments were quashed by the high court. The HC had struck down their appointments on the plea that proper consultation between the Chancellor and the chief minister had not taken place.

But after Konwar re-appointed eight of the VCs, an unhappy Nitish expressed his dismay and said, “It’s an unfortunate situation if the government’s view is not considered. Let the norms be changed and made it clear that the government will have no say in VCs’ appointment… It should be decided that the government’s role will be reduced to only granting of funds.”

 More mudslinging was witnessed when Congress legislator Jyoti levelled bribery charges against the governor for appointing VCs after taking crores.

 To put a lid on this unsavoury row, the Centre last week asked Konwar to swap charges with Tripura Governor D Y Patil.