File photo of N. D. Tiwari.
File photo of N. D. Tiwari.

President accepts Tiwari's resignation as AP Governor

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, December 27, 2009

President Pratibha Patil has accepted the resignation of Andhra Pradesh Governor Narayan Dutt Tiwari, who sent in his papers yesterday a day after a television channel in the state aired a tape which showed him allegedly in a compromising position with three women in the Raj Bhavan at Hyderabad.
Mr Tiwari, 84, submitted his resignation on "health grounds" to the President, who had forwarded it to the Union Government for its recommendations. He had assumed office as Governor 26 months ago.
A press communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said the President had accepted the resignation and had appointed Mr E S L Narasimha, the Governor of Chhattisgarh, to discharge the functions of the Governor of Andhra Pradesh in addition to his own duties until a successor to Mr Tiwari is appointed.
The President, who is on a visit to the Lakshadweep Islands, is due to visit Andhra Pradesh for a week from tomorrow, but indications today were that she might call off the trip.
On Friday, ABN Andhra Jyoti, a Telugu television channel, showed visuals of an old man it claimed was Mr Tiwari with two young women. The Governor's office got an order of restraint and managed to stop the telecast after about an hour.
The television channel said the tape was the result of a sting operation facilitated by a woman "broker" who claimed she had been promised a mining lease in Andhra Pradesh by the Governor. According to her, she decided to "expose" after he allegedly reneged on the promise.
Women's groups had gathered outside Raj Bhavan on that day to protest against Mr Tiwari and seek his resignation. Opposition parties in the state, led by the Telugu Desam party, had also sought his removal.
Meanwhile, Mr Tiwari's office had on Thursday issued a statement saying that the tapes were "nothing but a tissue of lies".
"Mr Tiwari is 86 years old and in the evening of his life. The office of the Governor is constantly under public scrutiny and entirely above board...It is is sad that constitutional functionaries are dragged into needless controversy with utter disregard to propriety," it said.
But the controversy and the protests refused to die and the new clip surfaced on YouTube, after its telecast was stopped on court orders, where it drew thousands of viewers.
Mr Tiwari's fate is understood to have been discussed at a meeting Congress President Sonia Gandhi had yesterday with her senior party colleagues, including Mr Pranab Mukherjee, Mr A K Antony and Mr Ahmed Patel. The Centre, meanwhile, had sought a report from the Andhra Pradesh government. Ms Gandhi is also learnt to have talked to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard.
The controversy and the Governor's resignation come at a time when Andhra Pradesh is already going through a period of political turmoil because of the agitation by those who want a separate state of Telengana and those opposed to the idea.
Mr Tiwari was in the news some time ago after Rohit Shekhar, grandson of former Union Minister Sher Singh, filed a petition in the Delhi High Court claiming he was the "natural" son of the former Union Minister and sought a paternity test to prove his claim. The court did not accept the plea and said the suit was not maintainable.
Mr Shekhar had claimed that Mr Tiwari had an intimate relationship with his mother Ujjwala Sharma, a former General Secretary of the All India Young Women Congress.
Mr Tiwari has the distinction of serving as Chief Minister of two states -- Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand -- in a long political career. In fact, he had four stints as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
At the Centre, Mr Tiwari has served as Planning Minister and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission in the early 1980s. He has also held the portfolios of Industry and Steel & Mines,
He has also served as External Affairs Minister in 1986-87 and as Minister for Finance and Commerce in 1987-88. In 1995-96, he left the Congress and became President of the All India Indira Congress (Tiwari) but returned to the party in early 1997. He went on to become the President of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee before becoming the first elected Chief Minister of the newly created state of Uttaranchal, now known as Uttarakhand.