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Centre Defends Gujarat Governor

PTI 30 Aug 2011, 17:42:33 IST

New Delhi, August 30:   Dismissing Bharatiya Janata Party's opposition to the appointment of Lokayukta by Gujarat Governor bypassing the Chief Minister, the Centre on Tuesday said as per the law Governor is supposed to consult only the Chief Justice of High Court in the matter and it should be left to the court to decide the issue.

“The act, as I understand, says the governor will consult the Chief Justice. You can't read things into it,” Law Minister Salman Khurshid said.

He was asked about the objections raised by the BJP in Parliament on the appointment of Lokayukta in Gujarat without consulting the Chief Minister on August 26.

The party had termed the move as “undemocratic” and demanded recall of Governor Kamla Beniwal accusing her of violating the federal structure. The State government challenged the appointment in the High Court on the same day contending that the decision was “unconstitutional and unilateral”.

However, the Central government felt there is nothing wrong in the decision and in case of any dispute, the courts would take a decision.

“And if the act means something else, says something else, the courts will decide. How can we decide?” Mr. Kurshid said.

Meanwhile, in an apparent attempt to counter BJP protests on the Lokayukta appointment, a group of nine Congress MPs staged a demonstration in Parliament House complex against the Gujarat government for not bringing to book the killers of Haren Pandya, a former Home Minister of the State who fell out with Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Protesting at the Mahatma Gandhi statue, the MPs carried photographs of the slain leader and shouted slogans “Down with Modi's dictatorship” and “Advani -Modi are Master-follower”.

They demanded Mr. Modi's resignation and insisted that the erstwhile NDA government at the Centre had given the Pandya murder case to the CBI and influenced the agency to weaken the case. PTI