Meghalaya Governor V Shanmuganathan has resigned, sources told PTI late on Thursday. His reported resignation came amid demands for his removal, after he allegedly molested a woman. Chief Minister Mukul Sangma had earlier said he would wait for the prime minister to make a decision regarding sacking Shanmuganathan.
Around 100 Raj Bhavan employees had petitioned Narendra Modi, asking for the governor’s removal. They alleged that “his activities [have] hurt the decorum and prestige of the Raj Bhavan as well as sentiments of the Raj Bhavan employees”.
The incident that the employees are referring to took place on December 8 last year when Shanmuganathan allegedly molested a woman job aspirant at Meghalaya’s Raj Bhavan. The matter came to light on January 23. The complainant had told The Highland Post that the governor allegedly “hugged and kissed her”. No FIR has been filed in the matter yet, but State Director General of Police SB Singh told The Wire that the police have referred the complaint to the state government.
The Raj Bhavan employees alleged that the 68-year-old, a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activist from Tamil Nadu, had turned the office into a “young ladies club”, and further accused him of compromising the security of Raj Bhavan.
Later on Thursday evening, civil society outfits also staged a protest outside Raj Bhavan to demand Shanmuganathan’s removal, according to Economic Times. More than 300 citizens signed on a petition started by local outfit Thma u Rangli- Juli outside the governor’s office, reported inuth.com. The petition will be forwarded to President Pranab Mukherjee.
Shanmuganathan has vehemently denied the allegations. “I wanted to meet them [the job aspirants] before finalising the candidates and they all came. Everyone was there for half an hour. I have got great respect for everyone. I have not done anything wrong,” he had told The Shillong Times. He also hinted that the allegations had been made out of vengeance. “We have selected only one person and some people were not selected. Because they were not selected they should not say all these things,” he had said.