Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari has found himself in the middle of a political controversy after the Shiv Sena filed a petition in Supreme Court accusing him of "arbitrary and malafide" action. The party has alleged that he did so by refusing an extension in deadline sought to submit the "requisite letter of support" to prove Sena's claim to form a government in Maharashtra.
Koshiyari is only the most recent among several Governors to have courted controversy in the past few years. While some attracted criticism over alleged favouritism towards the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), some have hit the headlines for unsavoury remarks.
Satya Pal Malik
In November 2018, Malik was accused of having favoured the BJP after PDP chief and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti sent an official communique to the Raj Bhawan via fax staking claim to form the government in Jammu and Kashmir. Mufti had also claimed to have support from the Congress and National Conference in her bid.
However, the fax was not received by the governor's office, Mufti said. Nevertheless, Malik dissolved the state Assembly shortly thereafter, and Omar Abdullah quipped that Malik apparently had a one-way fax machine which could send the governor's recommendation to Delhi, but failed to receive Mehbooba's letter.
Before that, in October 2018, Malik had raised eyebrows when he named the person who would be the mayor of Srinagar, even before the civic polls got over. He was quoted as saying by NDTV that as per his information, Srinagar would get a new mayor who is a foreign-educated young person and if this leader emerges, both parties (a reference to the PDP and NC) are jittery. (sic)."
The Congress had also slammed Malik in August 2019, after a delegation of the Opposition leaders was sent back to Delhi from Srinagar Airport and was not allowed to visit Kashmir. This was in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370 in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Meghalaya governor Tathagata Roy has been a repeat offender in terms of controversial comments. For instance, in 2018, on the tenth anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, Roy had claimed that Muslims were not killed in the "Pakistan-sponsored slaughter of innocents".
"10th Anniversary today of Paki-sponsored slaughter of innocents (except Muslims) at Mumbai, popularly called 26/11. Does anyone remember why we did not even downgrade our diplomatic relations with the Pakis (let alone break off such relations or go to war)?," he had tweeted. Later, he deleted his tweet, and said he was wrong on facts.
Roy had also rushed to the defence of Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb, when he was trolled for his claim that internet existed at the time of Mahabharata.
"The Tripura chief minister's observations about the happenings of the Puranic period are topical. It is virtually impossible to conceive of devices like 'Divya drishti', Pushpaka Ratha', etc without some kind of prototype and study thereon," Roy had said.
In 2016, Jyoti Prasad Rajakhowa had sparked off a row by his decision to move the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly session from 14 January, 2016 to 16 December, 2015 to conduct the floor test of the then Nabam Tuki government.
In July 2016, the Supreme Court had directed restoration of the status quo ante as it existed on 15 December, 2015, bringing back the Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh.
The court quashed Rajkhowa's decision to advance the Assembly session by a month and said the Governor "cannot interfere in the activities of the Assembly".
The court also quashed the President's Rule imposed in the state and all the decisions taken by Rajkhowa, leading to imposition and formation of a new government led by a breakaway faction of the Congress.
Rajkhowa was later asked by the Centre to resign on medical grounds, but he had refused to quit. He was later removed from his post by the then President Pranab Mukherjee.