After seeking resignations of governors, the Narendra Modi-led Centre is now targetting several autonomous bodies to remove UPA appointees and the first of the casualties would be from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
Of the nine members, NDMA Vice Chairman M Shashidhar Reddy and five of its members have already put in their papers to comply with the directives from their nodal Union Home Ministry.
Heads will also roll in other bodies, including National Commission for Women, National Commission for SC/STs, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), National Commission for Safai Karmacharis and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
The PMO is learnt to have asked various ministries to identify appointments made by UPA for various institutions working under the Centre’s jurisdiction and direct them to step down. Hence, the government is likely to seek resignations of independent directors of various financial institutions of the government, including banks, public sector undertakings, various boards and corporations.
This comes on a day when Chhattisgarh governor Shekhar Dutt quit the post after receiving calls from Union Home Secretary Anil Goswamy.
It is learnt that Nagaland governor Ashwani Kumar is expected to call it a day anytime now, which, if it happens, will make him the third to do so. Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj’s courtesy call to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is also said to be related to his exit. Bhardwaj is due to retire on June 29.
NDMA’s second-in-command Reddy, a Congress leader from Telangana, confirmed to a news agency that he had resigned on Tuesday to allow the prime minister to “reconstitute the NDMA”.
Former CISF DG K M Singh, former CBI Special Director K Salim Ali, former Civil Aviation Secretary K N Shrivastava, Maj Gen (Retd) J K Bansal and former Director of Bhabha Automic Research Centre B Bhattacharjee followed Reddy. Former CRPF DG J K Sinha, medical expert Muzaffar Ahmed and former Secretary, Department of Ocean Development, Harsh K Gupta are yet to resign.
Such appointments are seen as a reward to “favourable” retired bureaucrats and politicians as the post offers power, minister’s rank, personal security and perks.
SC/ST commission chairman P L Punia, the Uttar Pradesh Congress leader who lost the Lok Sabha polls this time, said: “No one asked me to leave the position. I have been appointed by the president; if the president orders me to leave, I will comply. This is a constitutional post and unless I complete my tenure, no one can remove me,” he said.
Government sources said that National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Mamta Sharma and NCPCR chairperson Kushal Singh have been told to go. While Sharma is abroad, Singh is not willing to step down.
ICCR chief Karan Singh denied being told by the government to resign.