India

Indian media: Modi to change governors?

  • 18 June 2014
  • From the section India
Mr Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party won the general elections with a comfortable majority
Mr Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party won the general elections with a comfortable majority

Media in India say the appointment of state governors may lead to a "full-blown confrontation" between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the main opposition Congress.

The Congress appointed several state governors just before India's general elections were announced.

Papers say the new BJP government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, wants to remove the governors - a constitutional post - of West Bengal, Kerala, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tripura states and replace them with people of its choice.

Amid such reports, the governor of northern Uttar Pradesh state, BL Joshi, resigned on Tuesday. However, the governors of the other states have maintained that they will not quit.

Newspapers have captured the story in front-page headlines.

"Modi government wants UPA [Congress-led United Progressive Alliance]-appointed governors out", reads the headline in the Deccan Herald. "Centre bent on UPA clean-up", is the The Asian Age headline.

Terming the move "dictatorial", the Congress party has accused the government of indulging in "political vendetta" and warned of "serious repercussions", the Zee News website reports.

"Governors being constitutional authorities should not be subjected to a public debate. We ask the central government to ensure constitutional appropriateness," the website quotes Congress leader Ajay Maken as saying.

The Deccan Herald says the move could lead to a "political collision" between the Congress and the BJP.

The Hindu adds that the situation may lead to a "full-blown confrontation" as many of the Congress-appointed governors are in "no hurry to step down".

Meanwhile, some papers say governors cannot be removed in an "arbitrary or unreasonable manner" solely on the basis of a change in the government.

"A governor of a state cannot be removed on the ground that he/she is out of sync with the policies and ideologies of the party in power at the centre," says The Hindu, quoting a 2010 Supreme Court judgement.

In international news, papers are concerned over the escalating violence in Iraq.

Iraq violence

Newspapers, including the Hindustan Times, are worried about the safety of Indian nationals in Iraq and a likely rise in oil prices.

"The uncertainty in the country could see oil prices going northward, adversely affecting India's economy. The ministry of external affairs should use its clout with Baghdad and the neighbouring countries to secure the safe exit of Indians from Iraq," the paper says.

And finally, Abdul Basit, Pakistan's ambassador to India, said he was hopeful that Delhi-Islamabad ties would improve in the near future, The Economic Times reported.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had attended the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi on 26 May.

"I have no reason to doubt for a moment that acche din aa rahe hain (good days are approaching)," Mr Basit said during an event in Delhi on Tuesday.

He was quoting the phrase used as a slogan by the BJP during its election campaign.

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