Ashwini Kumar on Wednesday resigned as Nagaland Governor, becoming the third person to quit the constitutional post after the Narendra Modi government initiated a move to get rid of UPA-appointees.
Kumar, a former CBI director, had informed the Centre that he would quit the moment it deems fit during a meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh recently.
Home Secretary Anil Goswami had telephoned 18 governors prodding them to resign to enable the new government to choose its nominees.
“I resigned this morning and came to Shimla. I am relaxed now,” Kumar, who was appointed as governor in March 2013, was quoted as saying. Kumar was CBI chief when BJP General Secretary Amit Shah was arrested in connection with the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case in Gujarat.
Uttar Pradesh Governor B L Joshi, a former IPS officer, and Chhattisgarh Governor Shekhar Dutt, former Defence Secretary, have also put in their papers, while politicians are holding on to their posts.
It will be difficult for the government to sack them as a 2010 Supreme Court judgement has ruled that governors cannot be dismissed at Centre's whims and fancies.
Goa Governor B V Wanchoo and West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan may be next in line to put in their papers with reports suggesting that both have informed the home minister about quitting if they are asked to.