Maharashtra's governor K Sankaranarayanan (82) is in a defiant mood. He told the media on Wednesday that Union home secretary Anil Goswami had called him twice last week asking him to step down. "I didn't reply anything to him. The governor's post is a constitutional one. He is a representative of the president of India. No responsible person has asked me anything in writing to relieve the post," he observed.
Apparently, he found it highly insulting that an IAS officer asked him to resign.
Sankaranarayanan is a senior Congress politician from Kerala and was appointed as governor in January, 2010 by the erstwhile Congress government at the centre and later reappointed to the post. It is learned that the congress leadership has informally asked him to stay put since there is a supreme court ruling which says that governors need not step down every time there is a regime change in New Delhi. The Congress, it appears, is keen on embarrassing the newly-formed Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the centre.
Sankaranarayanan said, "There is no vacuum in the governor's post. No position in a democracy is permanent...(but) if an appropriate decision-making authority asks me to quit, then I will definitely think over it."
The implication of his statement is that only the president can ask him to quit and that a union home secretary has no powers to ask him to put in his papers. Margaret Alva, Congress-appointed governor of Rajasthan, had called on prime minister Narendra Modi in the wake of the controversy to change governors. It is not clear if Sankaranarayanan will also similarly call on Modi to explain his stand.