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Governors pack their bags

New Delhi, May 19 (): Governors are getting ready to move out as BJP comes to power. Already PM Manmohan Singh bid farewell to his staff in South Block and vacated his official residence. The Karnataka and Gujarat Governors had reached out to the Congress expressing their desire to vacate Raj Bhavan, after the NDA government’s return to power.

H. R. Bhardwaj of Karnataka and Gujarat counterpart Kamla Beniwal are among the 18 Governors who are waiting for party headquarters’ reply.

Most of these are senior Congress leaders who are concerned about their future, the sources said.

Bhardwaj who shared not-so-cordial ties with the then CM B. S. Yeddyurappa and Benilal with the Narendra Modi governments, have almost completed their terms. Bhardwaj is due to step down on June 29, while Benilal’s tenure will come to end on November 27.

Out of 18 Governors, eight have completed more than four years of their tenure and have only few months of their five-year term left this year. Karnataka, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab are the eight states where Governor’s terms are ending.

Governors in Bihar, Nagaland and Orissa have been in seat for just one year of their tenure. Kerala Governor Sheila Dixit was appointed 65 days ago and Sikkim counterpart was in office for 300 days. Nagaland Governor Ashwani Kumar might escape the axe as he is non –political.

Sources said Congress is of the view that these Governors who have been appointed recently need not quit as the Governors cannot be sacked legally. The onus of appointing and removing a Governor as per Article 156 of the Constitution is with President of India.

Sheila Dixit after the rout of Congress in Delhi assembly announced her decision to quit politics. Following this she was posted Governor in Kerala which has a Congress-led ministry.

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