87-year-old Kamla Beniwal, the former Gujarat Governor who had a running battle with Narendra Modi when he was the state's Chief Minister, was removed last night just two months before her tenure as Governor of Mizoram was due to end.
Virendra Kataria, also a former Congress leader who was sacked as Puducherry Governor last month, called the action as "political vendetta" and said it was unjustified and an assault on the constitutional office.
"If Governor Kamla Beniwal was to be removed, why was she transferred to Mizoram only a few days back #Vendetta Politics," Congress general secretary and Communication Department Chairman Ajay Maken said in a tweet.
Hitting out at the NDA government, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said Beniwal's removal was a "clear cut violation" of Supreme Court judgement and a case of "political vendetta."
Rejecting allegations of political vendetta, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu insisted that there is "no politics" behind the decision.
"Action against Mizoram Governor is no violation against the Supreme Court's earlier judgement. Action has been taken within rules and within the Constitution. There is no politics behind it," he said.
Pressed further, the minister said, "There are serious allegations. Government has taken note of them and taken action."
He said the President has decided over it after applying his mind thoroughly on it and such decisions are "privilege" of the government.
Naidu instead accused the Congress of doing politics over the issue.
"Congress is trying to derive political mileage out of it," the minister said.
Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad said the move was in accordance with Constitutional principles.
"...the decision to remove Kamla Beniwal, the Governor is in accordance with Constitutional principles and conventions with the due approval of the President of India," Prasad said.
He said that if the government has to say anything more, it will be done on the floor of Parliament.
Congress leader Manish Tewari dubbed Beniwal's removal as a "classic case of political vendetta" and said the action is not in line with the Supreme Court judgement.