Beniwal sack, a political vendetta: Oppn, Govt rejects charge

Beniwal sack, a political vendetta: Oppn, Govt rejects charge

The NDA government came under attack today over the sacking of Mizoram Governor Kamla Beniwal with the Opposition calling it "political vendetta", a charge it rejected by saying the action followed "serious allegations" against her and insisted there was no politics.

87-year-old Beniwal, the former Gujarat Governor who had a running battle with Narendra Modi when he was the state's Chief Minister, was removed last night just two months before her tenure as Governor of Mizoram was due to end.

Virendra Kataria, also a former Congress leader who was sacked as Puducherry Governor last month, called the action as "political vendetta" and said it was unjustified and an assault on the constitutional office.

"If Governor Kamla Beniwal was to be removed, why was she transferred to Mizoram only a few days back? #Vendetta Politics," Congress general secretary and Communication Department Chairman Ajay Maken said in a tweet.

Hitting out at the NDA government, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said Beniwal's removal was a "clear cut violation" of Supreme Court judgement and a case of "political vendetta."
Rejecting allegations of political vendetta, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu insisted that there is "no politics" behind the decision.

"Action against Mizoram Governor is no violation against the Supreme Court's earlier judgement. Action has been taken within rules and within the Constitution. There is no politics behind it," he said.

Pressed further, the minister said, "There are serious allegations. Government has taken note of them and taken action."

He said the President has decided over it after applying his mind thoroughly on it and such decisions are "privilege" of the government.

Naidu instead accused the Congress of doing politics over the issue.
"Congress is trying to derive political mileage out of it," the minister said.
Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad said the move was in accordance with Constitutional principles.

"...the decision to remove Kamla Beniwal, the Governor is in accordance with Constitutional principles and conventions with the due approval of the President of India," Prasad said.
He said that if the government has to say anything more, it will be done on the floor of Parliament.

Congress leader Manish Tewari dubbed Beniwal's removal as a "classic case of political vendetta" and said the action is not in line with the Supreme Court judgement.

"You transfer her to Mizoram and summarily sack her which flies in the face of the Supreme Court judgement... a constitutional bench delivered at the instance of BJP MPs knocking the doors of the Supreme Court when Governors were transferred in 2004 or replaced in 2004," Tewari said.

Tewari said the verdict clearly said the governor could not be transferred due to "extraneous, capricious or political reasons" and cannot be treated in a manner which is inconsistent with the dignity of the Constitution.

"Governors are constitutional authority and they cannot be trampled upon and trifled with in this manner. This is a flagrant violation of not only the essence of SC judgement, but also the constitutional scheme," Tewari said.

Another Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha charged that, "Modi government is unleashing vicious political vendetta on those who questioned him".

Priyanka Chaturvedi, a television panelist from Congress tweeted, "This government busy with sacking/transferring people instead of tackling inflation & other imp issues. Political vendetta 1st, country later".

Rejecting the "political vendetta" charge in the sacking Beniwal, Government today said the decision was prompted by "serious allegations" against her and insisted there was no politics behind it.

Beniwal, who had a running battle with Narendra Modi when he was Gujarat Chief Minister, was sacked last night as Governor of Mizoram just two months before her tenure comes to an end.

Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad said the move was in accordance with Constitutional principles.

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