Sheila Dikshit resigns as governor of Kerala

Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday resigned as Kerala governor, a day after she met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and President Pranab Mukherjee.

The decision to resign from her post comes after repeated reports that the BJP-led NDA government, on an overdrive to replace UPA-appointed governors, had asked Dikshit to either accept a transfer to a Northeast state or voluntarily quit her position.

Former Kerala Governor Sheila Dikshit.

Former Kerala Governor Sheila Dikshit.

On Monday, Dikshit met President Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, raising speculation that she will resign if shunted out of the southern state.

Dikshit's meetings came a day after her Maharashtra counterpart K Sankaranarayanan quit, protesting his transfer to Mizoram. Five UPA-appointed governors have resigned after being nudged by the NDA government to do so, making Dikshit the sixth.

Dikshit had on Monday refused to give a direct answer. "You will know, when I take any such decision," she told PTI.

Dikshit, who served as Delhi chief minister from 1998 to 2013, was appointed Kerala governor in March just before the model code of conduct came into force for the Lok Sabha polls.

During her 15-minute meeting with the Home Minister, Dikshit is understood to have discussed her continuation in the Thiruvananthapuram Raj Bhavan, sources said.

After meeting Singh, Dikshit met the President. However, there was no official word on what transpired in the meeting. "I try to meet the President whenever I am in Delhi," Dikshit said.

On Tuesday, the Modi government announced new governors for various states. Taking charge are Kalyan Singh (Rajasthan), Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala (Karnataka), C Vidyasagar Rao (Maharashtra) and Mridula Sinha (Goa).

Earlier, the NDA government had transferred Kamla Beniwal as Mizoram Governor from Gujarat Raj Bhawan and when she refused to resign, she was sacked three months before the end of her tenure in October.

As Gujarat Governor, Beniwal had a running battle with Narendra Modi when he was the state's Chief Minister.

Virendra Kataria, a former Congress leader, was also sacked as Puducherry Lieutenant Governor last month.

Five other Governors -- M K Narayanan (West Bengal), Ashwani Kumar (Nagaland), B L Joshi (UP), B V Wanchoo (Goa) and Shekhar Dutt (Chhattisgarh) put in their papers apparently after they were telephoned by the Union Home Secretary.

Uttarakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi has challenged the Modi government's moves to ease him out of office, bringing the controversy over removal of UPA-appointed Governors under judicial scanner.

With PTI inputs


Updated Date: Aug 27, 2014 07:16 AM

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