Oppn, BJP spar over Beniwal removal

Oppn, BJP spar over Beniwal removal

Oppn, BJP spar over Beniwal removal

A war of words broke out between the opposition and the Narendra Modi-led NDA government over the sacking of Mizoram Governor Kamla Beniwal whose term was to end in about two months.

The Congress and the NCP hit out at the government accusing it of practising “vendetta politics” even as Union ministers M Venkaiah Naidu and Ravi Shankar Prasad said Beniwal was removed “in accordance with Constitutional principles”.

“The government is showing political vendetta. People remember the manner in which she fought for a strong Lokayukta in Gujarat when she was Governor there,” Congress spokesperson Shobha Oza said.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar said Beniwal’s removal was a “clear cut violation” of Supreme Court judgement and a case of “political vendetta”.

During her tenure as Gujarat governor, Beniwal had testy relations with the then chief minister Modi. She had refused to give her assent to a stringent anti-terror bill passed by the Gujarat Assembly and stirred up a controversy by appointing the Lokayukta without consulting the state government. 

The Gujarat government had challenged the appointment of the Lokayukta in the Supreme Court. In July, 87-year-old Beniwal was shunted to Mizoram from Gujarat and sacked on Wednesday. 

Rejecting the allegations,  Naidu said the action had been taken according to rules. “There is no politics. There are serious allegations. The government has taken note of them and taken action,” he said.

Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad said the move was in accordance with Constitutional principles. “The decision to remove Kamla Beniwal is in accordance with constitutional principles and conventions  the due approval of the President of India,” Prasad said.