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Uttar Pradesh Governor B L Joshi today resigned as the Narendra Modi government started the process of removal of those appointed by the previous UPA regime but apparently there was resistance from some of those who were asked to quit. Kerala Governor Shiela Dikshit and four more Governors were asked to make way for new appointees in the wake of the change of government at the Centre. Among those who are understood to have been called by Home Secretary Anil Goswami for the nudge are Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan, a Congressman from Kerala, Diskhit, a former Delhi Chief Minister who was appointed just on the eve of announcement of Lok Sabha polls, West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan, Nagaland Governor Ashwani Kumar, a former CBI Director. Kamla Beniwal, who did not share good relations with Modi during his tenure as Chief Minister in Gujarat, may also be on the way out. Sankaranarayanan and Dikshit are said to be holding out mulling their next move. There is also speculation that some of the Governors may be shifted to "insignificant" states in a bid to ease them out. Karnataka Governor H R Bharadwaj, whose term is coming to an end this month, and Assam Governor J B Patnaik, who has three more months, have said they have not resigned. The resignation of 78-year-old Joshi, who was recently sworn-in for a fresh term in Uttar Pradesh and was known for his proximity to the Nehru-Gandhi family, was sent to President Pranab Mukherjee, who accepted it and asked Uttrakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi to discharge duties till further orders. It came a day after the Centre made known to some of the Governors that they quit. By a strange coincidence, a number of Governors were in the national capital and some of them met the President fuelling speculation that they could have resigned. Besides the Governors, the Government is also working on removal of political appointees in bodies like National Disaster Management Authority. While change of Governors has been routinely followed by new governments ever since the Janata party government unceremoniously removed Governors in 1977, ushering in a new practice, a judgement of the Supreme Court in 2010 has apparently circumscribed the government's hands now in going for the kill. The judgement of a bench headed by the then Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan had said that while it was the prerogative of the government to remove Governors, it cannot be done in an arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable manner. The Centre's decision came under severe attack from from Congress and CPI-M, which termed it as as unconstitutional and unethical. But BJP leaders felt there was nothing wrong in such a decision. Home Minister Rajnath Singh refused to be drawn into any discussion on the subject but merely commented that if he were in the place of these Governors he would have quit. Karanatka Governor H R Bhardawaj, whose tenure is ending this month, denied that he has resigned. Similar was the stand taken by Assam Governor J B Patnaik, who like Bhardawaj is also a Congressman, said he has not resigned. Bharadwaj, whose term is ending this month-end, said he has not got a call to put in his papers. "When my innings is coming to an end, it is my duty to come call on the President. I have also sought an appointment with the Prime Minister," he said. "If there is a rumour (about his resignation) I cannot help," Patnaik said and added that meeting the President, who is his friend, did not mean that he was resigning. Dikshit said she cannot comment on media reports. Meanwhile, Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva met Prime Minister Narendra Modi which was described as a courtesy call and she also called on the President. Alva, who completes her five year term in August, is understood to have not been sounded out yet. Slamming the move to remove Governors, Congress termed it as "political vendetta" and said the "dictatorial" step will have "serious repercussions". Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad reminded the government about the May 2010 judgement of the Supreme Court and said the Centre does not have the brief to remove the Governors "in arbitrary and capricious manner with the change of power". In a statement here, Azad called the "move to remove the Governors of various states as dictatorial". CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechurry said the move to replace the Governors just because they have been appointed by the previous government was politically "not ethical" and unconstitutional.In a debate moderated by TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, panelists -- M J Akbar, Natl Spokesperson, BJP; Naresh Gujral, MP Rajya Sabha, SAD; Yatin Oza. Senior Advocate; Gaurav Bhatia, National President, Legal Wing, SP; Atul Kumar Anjaan, National Secretary, CPI; KTS Tulsi, Senior Advocate & MP Rajya Sabha -- discuss whether Governors appointed by the UPA should walk out on their own instead of being forced out of office.
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