Congress today attacked the Narendra Modi government over the removal of Mizoram Governor Kamla Beniwal accusing it of "political vendetta" and "flagrant violation" of the constitutional scheme of things.
"The manner in which a woman Governor Beniwal has been removed after levelling allegations against her is very unfortunate. Government is showing political venetta. People remember the manner in which she fought for a strong Lokpal in Gujarat, when she was Governor there," party spokesperson Shobha Oza said at the AICC briefing.
Congress general secretary and Communication Department Chairman Ajay Maken tweeted, "If Governor Kamla Beniwal was to be removed, why was she transferred to Mizoram only a few days back? #Vendetta Politics."
Taking the argument further, Oza asked whether the allegations on the basis of which the government removed her did not exist when she was Gujarat of Governor or when the NDA government shifted her to Mizoram some time back.
"Do the allegations date back only to the period between her appointment as Mizoram governor and now? These are very important questions, which the government must answer. It is very clear that there is some political motive," she said, recalling that Modi had fought a legal battle against Lokpal for which Beniwal was pitching.
Former Union Minister Manish Tewari said the action did not go down well with the Supreme Court judgement.
"Any definition in any dictionary which possibly proscribes political vendetta then this is a classic case. You have an elderly lady who was Governor of Gujarat. It is not a hidden secret that the then Governor of Gujarat did not see eye to eye on with the then Chief Minister of Gujarat on number of issues.
"You transfer her to Mizoram and summarily sack her which flies in the face of the Supreme Court judgement. A constitutional bench delivered at the instance of BJP MPs knocking the doors of the Supreme Court when Governors were transferred in 2004 or replaced in 2004," Tewari said.
Tewari said the verdict clearly said the governor could not be transferred due to "extraneous, capricious or political reasons" and cannot be treated in a manner which is inconsistent with the dignity of the Constitution.
"Governors are constitutional authority and they cannot be trampled upon and trifled with in this manner. This is a flagrant violation of not only the essence of SC judgement, but also the constitutional scheme," Tewari said.
Another Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha charged that, "Modi government is unleashing vicious political vendetta on those who questioned him."
Priyanka Chaturvedi, a television panelist from Congress tweeted, "This government busy with sacking/transferring people instead of tackling inflation & other imp issues. Political vendetta 1st, country later."
Rejecting the "political vendetta" charge in the sacking Beniwal, Government today said the decision was prompted by "serious allegations" against her and insisted there was no politics behind it.
Beniwal, who had a running battle with Narendra Modi when he was Gujarat Chief Minister, was sacked last night as Governor of Mizoram just two months before her tenure comes to an end.
Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad said the move was in accordance with Constitutional principles.