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Centre in a hurry, but Governors won’t quit

Vinay Kumar &
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U.P. Governor Joshi resigns;NDA-Congress confrontation likely

With several Congress appointees in no hurry to step down as Governors, the NDA government’s attempts to have its own nominees in Raj Bhavans could lead to a full blown confrontation with the principal Opposition party. Uttar Pradesh Governor B.L. Joshi on Tuesday resigned taking the hint from the Union government, but Governors of Kerala (Sheila Dikshit), Assam (J.B. Patnaik) and Karnataka (H.R. Bhardwaj) made it clear that they would not quit.

Mr. Patnaik and Mr. Bhardwaj, who met President Pranab Mukherjee, asserted that they were not resigning. “If there is a rumour about my resignation, I cannot help it,” Mr. Patnaik said. Uttarakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi has been given additional charge of Uttar Pradesh.

On Tuesday, Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and later met the President.

Her term ends in August. The PMO described the meeting as a “courtesy call.”

Though there was no official word, Home Ministry sources said other Governors who may face the axe include M.K. Narayanan (West Bengal) and Kamla Beniwal (Gujarat). Delhi’s Lt. Governor Najib Jung may be transferred.

Sources said Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami had called up some Governors and conveyed the government’s desire that they step down.

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