Why only BJP leaders become governors, asks Shiv Sena

Mumbai : The Shiv Sena on Friday questioned why only former Bharatiya Janata Party leaders are appointed as governors and lt. governors of various states and Union Territories while BJP allies in the National Democratic Alliance are overlooked.

“NDA allies like the Telugu Desam, the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Shiv Sena are prepared to accept this responsibility. There are many experienced and senior leaders in all these parties. Nobody should grudge if a Raj Bhavan (governor’s post) comes to them,” the Sena said in an edit in the party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.

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However, it rued that since “it’s a government of 280 (BJP MPs), nobody will listen to the cries of the allies”.

Referring to the oft-repeated demands to scrap the governor’s post, the Shiv Sena said it has been alleged in the past that the Raj Bhavans are used to house pensioners or inactive politicians who do the bidding of their political masters without batting an eyelid.

During political instability in any state, the edit piece said, the Raj Bhavans become hotbeds of political activity. With elections due in Punjab and Manipur, the new appointees — V.P. Singh Badnore and Najma Heptullah respectively — would get adequate opportunity to carry out their ‘political duties’, the Sena said.

The Sena pointed out that retired defence or police personnel appointed as governors in the sensitive border states have altogether different responsibilities, given the problems of security and infiltration from across the country’s borders.

“Yet, an incumbent who is a retired defence officer, Lt. General A.K. Singh, was removed as the Lt. Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, to be replaced by a former Delhi legislator, 73-year-old Jagdish Mukhi,” the Sena said.

“Whatever was prevalent during the Congress rule continues even now under (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi — only the ‘brand’ has changed,” the Sena said.

The Sena — an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra — said after the recent developments in Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh, it’s time to re-think whether the post of governor is really necessary in the country’s polity.