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No permanent governors in five northeastern states
Sujit Chakraborty
No permanent governors in five northeastern states
PHOTO : TIWN File photo Governor P.B.Achariya

Aizawl/Agartala, April 2 (TIWN / IANS) As many as five states in India's northeast -- Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura -- do not have permanent governors.

Of these, four are ruled by the Congress party while the Left is in power in Tripura.

Only Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland have regular governors. Retired Lt Gen Nirbhay Sharma is based at Itanagar and Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya in Kohima.

Acharya holds the additional charge of Tripura and Assam.

K.K. Paul, a former Delhi Police chief and then governor of Meghalaya, will continue to hold the additional charge of Manipur till further orders though he is the governor of Uttarakhand.

West Bengal Governor K.N. Tripathi has been asked to discharge the functions of the governor of Meghalaya. And now he also has to discharge the responsibility in Mizoram.

Tripathi will be the seventh to hold the post in Mizoram in less than eight months, albeit temporarily, till the state gets its own full-fledged governor.

Tripathi will take charge of the state this weekend, Mizoram government spokesman L.R. Sailo told IANS.

Aziz Qureshi, who took charge as the 15th governor of Mizoram on January 9 after being transferred by President Pranab Mukherjee from Uttarakhand, has been sacked. His term would have ended in 2017.

Qureshi last year filed a petition before the Supreme Court alleging the Narendra Modi government was putting pressure on him to give up his post.

Qureshi's case was reportedly referred to a five-judge constitutional bench of the Supreme Court as it involves constitutional law related to removal of governors. The bench is yet to be formed.

Tempers are running high in Mizoram over the frequent transfers of governors.

This started with Vakkom B. Purushothaman, who was asked to go to Nagaland on July 6, 2014, just a month after Modi became the prime minister.

Purushothaman resigned, claiming he was not consulted over his transfer. "Governors cannot be treated like clerks," he said.

Former Gujarat governor Kamla Beniwal was then transferred to Mizoram.

Beniwal took charge on July 9 as the 12th governor of Mizoram. But within a month, she was sacked.

Beniwal had a strained relationship with Modi when he was the Gujarat chief minister.

Former union home secretary Vinod Kumar Duggal, the then governor of Manipur, was given the additional charge of Mizoram.

Duggal assumed office on August 8 but resigned after 20 days.

Maharashtra governor K. Sankaranarayanan was then transferred to Mizoram on August 24 for the remainder of his term, which was scheduled to end in 2017.

He too quit, blaming the central government for taking a unilateral decision.

Paul was given additional charge of Mizoram and Manipur until his transfer to Uttarakhand.

Politicians, civil society groups and others in Mizoram are unhappy that the central government is using the state to "dump" governors.

But the Mizoram government has no issues.

Spokesman Sailo, also the advisor to Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, said: "Appointment of a governor in a state is a prerogative of the centre. Everybody is welcome as the Mizoram governor."

Congress leader Tapas Dey said the Narendra Modi government had chosen Mizoram as a "punishment posting" for governors appointed by the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government.

Dey said: "It is also unbecoming that there are no permanent governors in five of the northeastern states."

With a population of only 1.1 million, Mizoram has had 15 governors in 28 years after it became the 23rd state of the Indian union in 1987.

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