Sheila may be next to quit

Sheila may be next to quit

After K Shanka-ranarayanan, Kerala Governor Sheila Dikshit appeared to be next in line to quit as the Centre remained unenthusiastic about her continuance, setting the stage for her transfer. 

While Dikshit's fate hangs in balance, four states, including Karnataka, may get new governors by Tuesday with President Pranab Mukherjee receiving recommendation from the Union Home Ministry.

A day after Maharashtra Governor Shankaranarayanan quit as he was transferred to Mizoram, Dikshit called on the President and Home Minister Rajnath Singh amid indication that the Centre was gearing up to transfer her to Mizoram or any other north-eastern state.

During a brief meeting with Singh, Dikshit is learnt to have attempted to impress upon the Home Ministry why she should not be transferred and cited her seniority and experience in politics. Sources said she “has very few” options before her and “will have to eventually resign”.

The sources said former Delhi chief minister Dikshit, who was sworn in as governor in March this year, would not continue and would resign if transferred out of Kerala. 

Seven United Progressive Alliance-appointed governors have already resigned while Kamla Beniwal (Mizoram) and Puducherry Lt Governor Virendra Kataria were sacked.

Talking to reporters, Dikshit rubbished reports of her quitting. “The reports are baseless,” said Dikshit, who has refused to quit despite repeated nudges from the National Democratic Alliance government. She also sought to play down her meeting with the President, saying she tried to meet him whenever she was in Delhi.

Meanwhile, the Home Ministry has forwarded the files to Rashtrapati Bhavan for appointment of governors to four states. The governors for Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Goa have been under the consideration of the President.

The names of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh and veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leaders V K Malhotra and Lalji Tandon are doing the rounds though there was no official word on it.

Kalyan Singh may go to Maharashtra Raj Bhavan though he had earlier said that he was offered the post of governor of Rajasthan and he had accepted the position "happily".

The post of Karnataka governor has also been vacant since June-end after H R Bhardwaj’s term ended. Senior BJP leader from Kerala O Rajagopal was the front-runner but did not find his name after eminent lawyer Soli Sorabjee’s name also cropped up.

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