`A fair and honest person should be selected for the post of Governor'

`Centre should honour the Sarkaria panel report'`Judiciary has vindicated our stand'

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday said the Centre should consult him in keeping with the Sarkaria Commission's report and the Supreme Court's verdict in appointing "an honest and fair" person as successor to Buta Singh, who resigned as Governor in controversial circumstances on Thursday.

"A fair and honest person should be selected for the post of Governor and I am of the firm view that the Centre and Union Home Minister should consult me on the issue so that a mutually acceptable person is appointed," Mr. Kumar told reporters after a meeting with the outgoing Governor at Raj Bhavan which lasted for an hour and 45 minutes.

Expressing the hope that Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil would talk to him before announcing the name of new Governor, Mr. Kumar said there had been a tradition of Centre consulting Chief Ministers on appointment of the Governor. "The matter was also discussed in the national integration council," he said.

"Patil Saheb did have a talk with me a couple of days ago but definitely not on this issue," the Chief Minister said while replying to queries.

On speculations about Andhra Pradesh Governor Sushil Kumar Shinde or senior Congress leader C.K. Jaffer Sharief's appointment as Buta's successor, Mr. Kumar said, "It is for you people (the media) to guess."

"I have not come across the name of any person for the post either officially or unofficially," he said and added that he had also not suggested the name of anybody for the post.

On whether he agreed with the NDA's view that the Union Cabinet was equally responsible for the dissolution of the State Assembly, the Chief Minister said the court's order was "self-explanatory".

"I have raised the issue of illegal and unconstitutional dissolution of the house within and outside Parliament. The issue has been debated and the people of the State and judiciary has vindicated our stand," he said.

``What is more important now is that the people (the Centre and governors) should take a lesson from this and take all precautionary steps to ensure that such unfortunate incidents are not repeated in the future," Mr. Kumar said and added that the Centre should "also refrain from misusing a constitutional authority". Asked whether he too agreed with the NDA's demand for resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh following the Supreme Court's order, he said, "I am a Chief Minister now. Such demands are made by political parties which they are doing''.

Describing his meeting with Buta Singh as a "courtesy" visit, Mr. Kumar said the Governor had indicated to him during the Republic Day reception at Rajbhavan that he was going to quit. "I had told the Governor that I will meet him on Friday." -- PTI