GUWAHATI, Nov 28: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi requested President of India Prab Mukherjee for his immediate intervention for replacement of Acting Governor of Assam Padmabha Balakrish Acharya.
Dashing off a letter to the President today, Chief Minister Gogoi said that the continuance of PB Acharya as in-charge Governor of Assam would cause immense difficulty in functioning of parliamentary democracy system and create fissures in the secular ethos of the State.
“We had welcomed Shri Padmabha Balakrish Acharya to our State as we presumed that being a high Constitutiol functiory, he would conduct himself fairly, cautiously and circumspectly. However, I am pained to say that ever since assuming office, His Excellency, the Governor of Assam, through his actions, has steadily lowered the prestige of the institution of the Governor,” he said.
Illustrating several instances in which the present incumbent ‘steadily lowered the prestige of the institution of the Governor’, Chief Minister Gogoi said Acharya made a shocking public statement that ‘Hindustan is for Hindus’ on November 21 last. “His statement has created uproar across the tion with almost all sections of society condemning his utterance and the ideology behind it,” Gogoi said, adding that such remarks reflect the ucceptably divisive and commul mindset of an incumbent holding a high Constitutiol post and such an utterance is in flagrant violation of the secular tents of the Constitution.
Citing another instance, Chief Minister Gogoi said that Governor Acharya unilaterally altered a panel of 6 mes belonging to the unrepresented communities as nomited members submitted by the Bodoland Territorial Areas and recommended by the Council of Ministers and replaced four of the mes with nominees of his own choice. “Aggrieved by this act of His Excellency, the Governor of Assam, the BTC filed a Writ Petition in the Guwahati High Court and the latter kept the notification issued by the State Government in abeyance,” he said.
Chief Minister Gogoi further pointed out that the Governor in his capacity as Chancellor of Assam Agricultural University (AAU) constituted a three-member committee to probe into the allegations against Vice-Chancellor Dr. Kamal Malla Bujarbaruah based on a complaint petition that eventually irked members of seven associations. “The institution of the enquiry was challenged in the Gauhati High Court which then suspended the operation of the notification constituting the enquiry committee,” he added.
The Chief Minister also brought to the notice of the President regarding nomition of 10 members to the Court of Dibrugarh University by Acharya in his capacity as Chancellor of the University. “Contrary to statutory norms of the university, His Excellency, the Governor of Assam nomited four members to the Court of Dibrugarh University who hardly have any academic distinction other than being office-bearers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or its sister organizations. His Excellency, the Governor of Assam ignored deserving persons from Assam with brilliant educatiol background and sound social reputation and instead nomited people from other States by virtue of their affiliation with the RSS,” Gogoi stated in his letter.
Gogoi further stated in his letter about the meeting Acharya had with a delegation of the BJP headed by the then State President, Siddhartha Bhattacharjee at Raj Bhawan on September 21 last. “It is clear from video footage of the meeting aired on local TV channels that during the discussions, His Excellency, the Governor of Assam was advising on BJP’s political strategy like a senior BJP executive rather than acting like a Constitutiol functiory. While His Excellency, the Governor of Assam may certainly interact with a delegation of a political party, it is shocking that the high office of Governor has been converted to an annexe of the BJP office,” Gogoi said.
Expressing his disenchantment at the ‘arbitrary and biased actions’ of Acharya and his commul utterances, Chief Minister Gogoi said, “These incidents have been a big disappointment to me. Throughout my tenure as Chief Minister, Assam during the past 14 years, I have had the privilege of interacting with outstandingly wise individuals who have enhanced the respect and prestige of the institution of Governor and have functioned not only as the Constitutiol head of our State but also a mentor to the State Government. However, I am pained to say that ever since assuming office, His Excellency, the Governor of Assam Padmabha Balakrish Acharya, through his actions, has steadily lowered the prestige of the institution of the Governor.”
In the same breathe, Gogoi, also mentioned in his letter, about Acharya making no distinction between his constitutiol functioning as Governor of a State and his political and ideological instincts which are evidently linked to the ruling party at the Centre, the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.