Meghalaya Governor V. Shanmuganathan resigned on Thursday in the wake of accusations of inappropriate behaviour and hurting the decorum and prestige of the Raj Bhavan. The resignation came after Raj Bhavan employees demanded his removal for “seriously compromising” the dignity of the gubernatorial office.
Official sources said 67-year-old Shanmuganathan tendered his resignation from the post. On Wednesday, employees of the Raj Bhavan in Shillong sent a five-page letter signed by nearly 100 staffers to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Rashtrapati Bhavan to demand recall of the Governor for what they alleged was “turning the Raj Bhavan into a Young Ladies Club”.
“We feel he is demeaning the position of the Head of the State. He is rude, arrogant, temperamental and untruthful. Above all, he has seriously compromised the dignity of the Raj Bhavan and unfortunately made it into a Young Ladies Club,” the letter said.
“It has become a place where young ladies come and go at will on direct orders of the Governor… Many of them have direct access to his bedroom.”
“… we are not interested in his personal life. But when his activities hurt the decorum and prestige of the Raj Bhavan as well as the sentiments of the Raj Bhavan employees, who are very much attached to the Raj Bhavan, it becomes our concern,” the letter added.
Women activists had begun a signature campaign here seeking Shanmuganathan’s removal. The campaign, spearheaded by women-led Civil Society Women Organisation (CSWO) and Thma u Rangli (TUR), was launched following reports of inappropriate behaviour by the Governor. A woman job aspirant had also accused the governor of making advances when she appeared for an interview at the Raj Bhavan.
From the time Shanmuganathan took over, the employees alleged, they were going through “severe humiliation, mental stress and torture”.
Congress on Thursday said governor of Meghalaya has turned Raj Bhavan into ‘scandal bhavan.’
Terming the behaviour of the governor ‘disgraceful,’ the Congress demanded immediate removal of the former from his post.
“The Government of Meghalaya has turned the Raj Bhavan into scandal bhavan. We demand he be immediately sacked as he has brought bad name to country on Republic Day.”
Shanmuganathan, 68, an activist from Tamil Nadu, was sworn in as Meghalaya Governor on May 20, 2015. The President gave him the additional charge of Arunachal Pradesh from September 16, 2016, after J. P. Rajkhowa was removed. Shanmuganathan was also Governor in charge of Manipur from September 2015 to August 2016.
(With inputs from agencies)