President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday directed Arunachal Pradesh Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa to be removed from his post. Rajkhowa shall "cease to hold the office", said a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique.
Meghalaya Governor V Shanmuganathan has been given additional charge of the state, it added.
#PresidentMukherjee has directed that Shri J.P. Rajkhowa shall cease to hold the office of Governor of Arunachal Pradesh
— President of India (@RashtrapatiBhvn) September 12, 2016
"The President has directed that JP Rajkhowa shall cease to hold the office of the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh and has appointed V. Shanmuganathan, Governor of Meghalaya, to discharge the functions of the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, in addition to his own duties, until regular arrangements for the office of the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh are made," said the communique.
It was on 6 September that a defiant Rajkhowa claimed that the Centre had asked him to step down citing "health grounds" but he refused to resign, saying that he wanted the President to dismiss him.
However, on 7 September, in a 20-minute meeting with the President, Home Minister Rajnath Singh believed to have conveyed that Rajkhowa's continuance in the post has become untenable. The Home Minister is learnt to have told the President that the central government has lost confidence in Rajkhowa and the only option left to remove him is to "withdraw the pleasure of the President".
The Home Minister's meeting with the President came after Rajkhowa refused to step down despite a nudge by the Centre to put in his papers after the Supreme Court passed serious strictures against him over the dismissal of the Congress government last year.
Rajkhowa had said that he would not step down but was ready to be sacked. "I want the President to dismiss me. I will not resign. Let the President express his displeasure. Let the government use provisions of Article 156 of the Constitution," the Governor had told a Guwahati-based TV news channel.
Rajkhowa said he had been asked to resign "on health grounds" weeks after the Supreme Court had restored the Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh and censured him.
Rajkhowa, who was appointed the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh on 12 May, 2015, was the first gubernatorial appointee of the Modi government and has also been sacked by it after informing the President that it has "lost trust" in him.
Rajkhowa, a 1968 batch IAS officer, had retired as Chief Secretary of Assam before being appointed as Governor.
With inputs from agencies