New Delhi, Aug 7 (IANS): The sudden sacking of Mizoram Governor Kamla Beniwal, just two months after she was shunted to the northeast from Gujarat, triggered a controversy, with the Congress and its allies Thursday terming it "political vendetta" by the Narendra Modi government as the ruling BJP justified the move and denied any politics behind it.
A day after Beniwal was given the sack orders, Congress leader Ajay Maken tweeted: "If Governor Kamla Beniwal was to be removed, why was she transferred to Mizoram only a few days back? #VendettaPolitics."
Beniwal, 87, who had open run-ins with the then Modi government as governor of Gujarat, was transferred to Mizoram two months ago after the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government came to power. Beniwal had two months left in her tenure.
Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha in a tweet said: "Mr Modi's govt is unleashing vicious political vendetta on those who questioned him like sacked 87 yr old Governor Ms Kamla Beniwal. #shame."
Sharad Pawar, chief of Congress ally Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), said: "There is one Supreme Court judgment and this is a clear violation of the judgment. It is a political vendetta. It is the most unfortunate thing that a government has acted against a lady governor."
Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal said: "This has happened before also. If they wanted, then they could have waited for two months more for her to retire. This is not a good message that they are giving."
Earlier, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu denied any politics in the move to sack Beniwal as Mizoram governor.
"Action against Kamla Beniwal was taken in accordance with the Constitution and there is no politics in it," Naidu told reporters outside parliament.
He said there were "serious allegations" against Beniwal, due to which the government took action.
Manipur Governor Vinod Kumar Duggal is to hold additional charge of Mizoram.
Congress leader and former minister Manish Tewari wanted to know why Beniwal was transferred to Mizoram and then sacked.
"Governors are constitutional authority, they cannot be trifled with. It is a violation of the apex court judgment," Tewari said.
BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said "there are charges against Beniwal and that the BJP does not find her fit to hold this position".
"It's not unusual of the Congress to defend corruption," Rudy added.
Beniwal, a former member of the Congress party, was at loggerheads with then Gujarat chief minister Modi over the appointment of a state Lokayukta in 2011.