New Delhi, Aug. 7: A dirt dossier on Kamla Beniwal became the basis of the Mizoram governor’s sacking yesterday, a move the government has justified even as the Congress alleged political vendetta.
Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the decision to remove the former Gujarat governor, who had several run-ins with Narendra Modi when he was chief minister, was in accordance with “constitutional principles” and approval of President Pranab Mukherjee. “I have nothing more to say,” he said outside Parliament today.
Prime Minister Modi is believed to have briefed the President recently while Prasad and attorney-general Mukul Rohatgi also paid visits to Rashtrapati Bhavan over the week. Documents were collected and a dossier prepared before a final call was taken, the sources said.
The dossier, contents of which were seen by The Telegraph, contains details of alleged “unethical involvement of Dr Smt Kamla while being the governor of Gujarat in the Kisan Samuhik Krishi Cooperative Society Ltd (KSKCSL), Jhotwada, district Jaipur, Rajasthan” in 2011.
Congress leader Ajay Maken questioned the removal. “If Governor Kamla Beniwal was to be removed, why was she transferred to Mizoram only a few days back?” Maken tweeted.
Beniwal was shifted to Mizoram last month.
According to government sources, on May 22, 2011, a resolution was adopted by the executive committee of the KSKCSL to exchange the agricultural land of the cooperative society for developed land to be received from the Jaipur Development Authority. The then governor was allegedly one of the 19 beneficiaries and she was later appointed a member of the executive committee.
In October 2012, the additional registrar of cooperative societies, Rajasthan, had submitted a report to the Centre. Another report “confirming the findings of the additional registrar” was submitted to the government on June 27 this year, a month after the Modi government was sworn in, the sources said.
The KSKCSL had challenged the findings in a tribunal but the Centre insists that “prima facie, her direct and personal involvement was not warranted”.
Sources said one more aspect was considered before the final decision was taken to sack Beniwal. “The Supreme Court had passed strictures indicting Beniwal for blatant misuse of office when she was a minister of Rajasthan,” said a source.