Twenty four hours have passed since the Supreme Court decision came to revive the conspiracy charge against senior BJP leaders LK Advani, MM Joshi, Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh, Vinay Katiyar and others in the Babri Masjid demolition case. After the Supreme Court ruling came, Joshi went to meet Advani; Uma Bharti said there was no conspiracy and everything was done openly and she was ready to go to jail or face hanging for the Ram Temple; while Vinay Katiyar put the CBI in the dock. Katiyar reiterated Uma Bharti’s stand that everything was done openly and it was, indeed the CBI, that should be questioned here.
But Kalyan Singh, one of core pillars of the Ayodhya movement has not reacted yet. He was Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister when the Babri demolition had happened and he is seen as a key figure here. But he will escape the trial because of the constitutional immunity he enjoys while being the Governor of Rajasthan. Now it is up to Kalyan Singh whether he resigns to face the trial or the central government asks him to do so.
But there are other state governors who had to resign while in office owing to allegations and charges, ranging from sex scandals to involvement in corruption and misuse of the Governor’s office.
MEGHALAYA GOVERNOR V SHANMUGANATHAN: JANUARY 2017
Meghalaya Governor V Shanmuganthan was forced to resign on January 26 this year after a relentless campaign by his Raj Bhavan staff alleging him of indulging in sexual misconduct. His employees had sent a petition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that had accused him of running a young ladies club in the Raj Bhavan.
GOA GOVERNOR B V WANCHOO: JULY 2014
Goa Governor BV Wanchoo had to resign after his CBI interrogation in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam. After West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan, Wanchoo became the second state Governor who had to quit the office due to Agusta allegations. Wanchoo faxed his resignation on July 4, 2014. A former IPS officer, he was hearing the SPG when the Agusta deal was finalized.
WEST BENGAL GOVERNOR M K NARAYANAN: JUNE 2014
Like B V Wanchoo, West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan, too, resigned from the office on June 30, 2014 after his CBI interrogation in the Agusta scam. Narayanan was the National Security Advisor and was part of meetings that decided on the bid criteria that allegedly helped AgustaWestland. He was quizzed as a witness.
ANDHRA PRADESH GOVERNOR ND TIWARI: DECEMBER 2009
His was a spectacle. The 86-year old veteran Congress leader and a multiple times chief minister was shown in a compromising position with three young women. TV channels ran marathon coverage of it that embarrassed the Congress leadership and it was certain that Tiwari would be removed from the Raj Bhavan. Forced and cornered, he had no other option but to resign on December 26, 2009.
JHARKHAND GOVERNOR PRABHAT KUMAR: JANUARY 2002
His past came to haunt him and finally forced him to resign on January 31, 2002. Prabhat Kumar was alleged of misusing his office while he was Cabinet Secretary during 1999-2000. Controversial businessman and Flex Industries chairman Ashok Chaturvedi had alleged in his confession before the CBI that he had funded parties at Kumar’s official residence in Delhi and had extended him hospitality regularly.
UTTAR PRADESH GOVERNOR MOTILAL VORA AND KERALA GOVERNOR P SHIV SHANKAR: MAY 1996
These both senior Congress leaders had to resign from their Gubernatorial offices after prima facie evidence against them in the Hawala scandal was found. Motilal Vora, senior Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister was Uttar Pradesh’s Governor, while P Shiv Shankar, former law minister of Indira Gandhi, was Kerala’s Governor. According to the book, Democracy in India By Shree Govind Mishra, Vora and Shiv Shankar faxed their resignations to the President of India in the night of May 1, 1996 after the CBI told the Supreme Court that the constitutional immunity was the only reason that they could not be charge-sheeted. Their resignations were accepted and May 3, 1996 was their last day in their respective Raj Bhavans though both of them, along with many others named, were later acquitted from the Hawala case due to lack of evidence.
HIMACHAL PRADESH GOVERNOR SHEILA KAUL: APRIL 1996
Sheila Kaul, Jawaharlal Nehru’s sister-in-law and PV Narasimha Rao’s Urban Development Minister, was forced to resign on April 21, 1996 after a PIL in the Delhi High Court alleged her of misusing her office to make monetary gains with out-of-turn allotment of government houses.
HIMACHAL PRADESH GOVERNOR GULSHER AHMED: NOVEMBER 26, 1993
Among many who faced the wrath of Chief Election Commissioner T N Seshan for breaking the law was Himachal Pradesh’s Governor Gulsher Ahmed, a Congress parliamentarian. He had begun his Gubernatorial term on June 30, 1996 but it was cut short only after six months, on November 26, 1993, after it was found that he was misusing his office by campaigning for his son who was contesting from the Satna constituency in Madhya Pradesh on Congress (I) ticket. The Election Commission, headed by Seshan, cancelled the Satna polls on this ground.
MAHARASHTRA GOVERNOR KONA PRABHAKAR RAO: APRIL 2, 1986
The infamous Bombay University MD (Obstetrics and Gynaecology) exam scandal of 1986 forced both, Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Shivajirao Patil-Nilangekar and Maharashtra’s controversial Governor Kona Prabhakar Rao, to resign. CM’s daughter Chandrakala had already failed the MD exam thrice and her father colluded with some university officials to get her through the exam. Objections on it were raised and a plea in the Bombay High Court was filed which found that the MD results were manipulated after interference of Patil-Nilangekar and his daughter.
Governor Rao pitched in, trying to influence the Bombay University vice-chancellor and other concerned officials to toe the line to save the CM. Governor Rao had had an already controversial run in the Bombay Raj Bhavan with widespread allegations that he misused his office for monetary gains. During his time, some senior Congress (I) leaders even termed him the worst Governor Maharashtra had ever seen. But when his name prominently figured in the MD exam scandal that cost the CM his office, he could not escape the heat any further and April 2, 1986 became his last day in the Raj Bhavan after a short tenure that he had begun on May 30, 1986.