S. Nagesh Kumar
Submits resignation citing health grounds
HYDERABAD: Under pressure from political parties and women’s organisations to quit after a television channel showed him, allegedly in a compromising position with women, Andhra Pradesh Governor Narayan Dutt Tiwari resigned on Saturday, citing ‘health grounds.’
A press communiqué issued by the Raj Bhavan said Mr. Tiwari submitted his resignation to President Pratibha Patil bringing to an end his 26-month long gubernatorial tenure. (A PTI report from New Delhi said the President had forwarded his letter to the Union Government for its recommendation).
The resignation by the octogenarian leader, a freedom fighter who served a jail term during 1942-44, came a day after ABN, a Telugu news channel, showed explicit visuals which, it claimed, were those of Mr. Tiwari with three women at the Raj Bhavan. Although the Governor’s office described the news story as “a tissue of lies,” the widespread condemnation and protests made his continuance untenable.
Mr. Tiwari had recently received a respite in a paternity suit filed in the Delhi High Court by 29-year-old Rohit Shekhar to accept him as his natural son.
The court dismissed the suit for being ‘time-barred’ and said Rohit Shekhar could have sought a declaration within three years of his becoming a major in 1997.
Mr. Tiwari is the second Governor of Andhra Pradesh to leave under a cloud. The late Ram Lal was removed in the wake of the pro-democracy agitation in August 1984 when he unceremoniously dismissed the popularly-elected Government of N. T. Rama Rao and installed Nadendla Bhaskara Rao. Born in 1925 in Nainital district, Mr. Tiwari served as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh four times and became the first elected Chief Minister of the newly created Uttarakhand in 2002. He held important portfolios including Finance, Commerce, External Affairs and Petroleum at the Centre. He floated the Congress (Tiwari) in 1995 following differences with P.V. Narasimha Rao but later merged the party with the Congress.