GUWAHATI, Nov 28 - Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today requested President Pranab Mukherjee�s immediate intervention for the replacement of Acting Governor of Assam Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya, stated an official press release.
Dashing off a letter to the President today, Chief Minister Gogoi said that the continuance of PB Acharya as the in-charge Governor of Assam would cause immense difficulties in the functioning of the parliamentary democracy system and create fissures in the secular ethos of the State.
�We had welcomed Shri Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya to our State as we presumed that being a high Constitutional functionary, 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,� the Chief Minister said Acharya made a shocking public statement that �Hindustan is for Hindus� on November 21. �His statement has created uproar across the nation with almost all sections of the society condemning his utterance and the ideology behind it,� Gogoi said, adding that such remarks reflect the unacceptably divisive and communal mindset of an incumbent holding a high Constitutional post and such an utterance is in flagrant violation of the secular tenets of the Constitution.
Citing another instance, Gogoi said that Governor Acharya unilaterally altered a panel of six names belonging to the unrepresented communities as nominated members submitted by the Bodoland Territorial Areas and recommended by the Council of Ministers and replaced four of the names with nominees of his choice. �Aggrieved by this act of His Excellency, the Governor of Assam, the BTC filed a writ petition in the Hon�ble Gauhati High Court and the latter kept the notification issued by the State Government in abeyance,� he said.
The Chief Minister further pointed out that the Governor, in his capacity as the Chancellor of the Assam Agricultural University, constituted a three-member committee to probe into allegations against Vice Chancellor Dr Kamal Malla Bujarbaruah on the basis of a complaint petition that eventually irked members of seven associations. �The institution of the enquiry was challenged in the Hon�ble 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 the issue of nomination of 10 members to the Court of the Dibrugarh University by Acharya in his capacity as the Chancellor of the university. �Contrary to the statutory norms of the university, His Excellency, the Governor of Assam nominated 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 organisations. His Excellency, the Governor of Assam ignored deserving persons from Assam with brilliant educational background and sound social reputation and instead nominated people from other States by virtue of their affiliation with the RSS,� Gogoi stated in his letter.
Gogoi further mentioned the meeting Acharya had with a delegation of the Bharatiya Janata Party, headed by the then State president of the party, Siddhartha Bhattacharya at Raj Bhawan on September 21. �It is clear from the 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 Constitutional functionary. 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 communal utterances, 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 Constitutional 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 Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya, through his actions, has steadily lowered the prestige of the institution of the Governor.�
In the same breath, Gogoi also mentioned in his letter that Acharya made no distinction between his Constitutional functioning as the Governor of a State and his political and ideological instincts which are evidently linked to the ruling party at the Centre and the RSS.