The Centre is examining allegations of sexual misconduct against the Governor of a key South Indian state. The Governor has been accused by the “victims” of demanding sexual favours from women employees of the Raj Bhavan. However, what could not be immediately ascertained was whether the charges against the Governor pertain to his earlier stint in another state or are related to his fresh tenure. The matter is under the scrutiny of intelligence agencies, and if after a thorough inquiry the charges are found correct, the Governor may be asked to resign in order to save the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government from a major embarrassment. Highly placed sources said that the Centre was viewing the matter with immense concern, and was attempting to find out whether any kind of incriminating CD or MMS had been made regarding the Governor’s misdemeanour.

It may be recalled that in January last year, V. Shanmuganathan, Governor of Meghalaya was asked to resign after complaints of a similar nature had been received against him. More than 100 Raj Bhavan employees had petitioned the then President Pranab Mukherjee demanding the Governor’s recall, while accusing him of lowering the dignity of the gubernatorial office. The allegation was, that the Governor had sought to convert the Raj Bhavan into a young ladies’ club.

Way back in December 2009, senior Congress leader and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Narayan Dutt Tiwari had to resign as the Governor of Andhra Pradesh following serious charges of sexual perversion against him. The seasoned politician initially was reluctant to put in his papers, but did so after President Pratibha Patil declined to visit Hyderabad for her annual sojourn while he was holding office. Photographs showing Tiwari in the company of some women had also circulated at that time.

Prior to this, during Indira Gandhi’s tenure as the Prime Minister, the Governor of a major state in North India was accused of turning the Raj Bhavan into his personal harem. Given his political clout, no action was taken against him and the frolicking continued. It, however, remains to be seen whether the Governor of the South Indian state, who has been accused of sexual misconduct, will be found guilty following the investigation by intelligence agencies. If so, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to follow a “zero tolerance” policy against such doings.

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