On June 27, CBI had questioned West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan as a "witness" in connection with its probe into allegations of bribery in the Rs 3600-crore VVIP chopper deal with Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland. 80-year-old Narayanan was asked to appear before CBI officers to record his statement in connection with the deal as he was part of the group which had gone into the tendering procedures before purchase of the helicopters, CBI sources said. Read more here
Narayanan was the former National Security Advisor before being appointed as Governor of the West Bengal. The sources said the need to record the statement of Narayanan as a witness was felt as he, along with Goa Governor BV Wanchoo, had participated in the meeting in 2005 that allowed key changes in the technical specifications of the chopper.
CBI's request for questioning of Narayanan and Wanchoo was earlier rejected by the Law Ministry during the UPA regime, prompting the agency to send a request to the President Pranab Mukherjee's Secretariat seeking permission to record their statement as witnesses. The Law Ministry had declined permission saying the two were in constitutional posts which gave them immunity from prosecution under Article 361 of the Constitution.
The last couple of weeks has seen a mass exit of several Congress appointed governors including Uttar Pradesh Governor BL Joshi, and Chhattisgarh Governor Shekhar Dutt resigns
Why sacking UPA-appointed governors is not an easy option for the Narendra Modi government
The fight between the Congress-appointed governors and the Centre appears to be intensifying with only Uttar Pradesh's BL Joshi putting in his papers on Tuesday. The five others chose not to react. Strains of tension were evident during the day when Union home minister Rajnath Singh reportedly saying if he were in their [governor's] place, he would have quit. The fight between the BJP and the Congress is unlikely to end any time soon. Two to three of the six governors have already sought appointments with president Pranab Mukherjee. Rajasthan governor Margaret Alva, whose name figures in the list, met PM Narendra Modi at his residence on Tuesday. Karnataka governor HR Bhardwaj and Assam governor JB Patnaik, who met president Mukherjee, denied speculation they were quitting. "No one asked me for it and I won't resign," Bhardwaj said. Read more