- Kalyan Singh campaigned for PM Modi on camera, ahead of elections
- Had called for his re-election for the sake of the country
- The President has asked government to take necessary action against him
Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh is in trouble, with the President asking the government to take "necessary action" after he was on camera campaigning for Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the national election. President Ram Nath Kovind has forwarded to the home ministry a letter from the Election Commission, which has reportedly said Kalyan Singh is guilty of violating the rules of his constitutional post.
President Kovind acted after returning from an international visit this morning. This could be a big test of neutrality for the President just before the Lok Sabha election.
The Election Commission's letter to the President is a serious and rare indictment of a constitutional authority.
It is not often that a Governor is found violating the model code of conduct and campaigning for the Prime Minister. The code, which has been in place since the national election was announced last month, does not apply to constitutional authorities like the governor, but the President's office had said that "no one in a constitutional post is permitted to campaign" for anyone.
Last month, Kalyan Singh, 87, had called for PM Modi's re-election "for the sake of the country". He was on camera saying at his hometown Aligarh that PM Modi's re-election is a necessity for the country and the society and every party member should work for it. He made the remarks as he was faced with BJP workers protesting against the party's choice for Aligarh.
"We are workers of BJP. Going by that, we definitely want the BJP to win. Everyone wants that once more, Modi-ji should become PM. It is necessary for the country and the society that Modi-ji becomes PM," Kalyan Singh had said.
When the comments were reported in the media, the President had made it clear that he disapproved.
Sources say the prime minister will need to take a decision on whether the Governor can be removed during the election process.
The BJP veteran has been a Governor since 2014.
In the 1990s, then Himachal Pradesh Governor Gulsher Ahmed was forced to resign for violating the poll code by campaigning for his son.
Kalyan Singh is a former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and was in power in the state when the 16th century Babri mosque was demolished in December 1992. He quit the BJP in 1999 and returned in 2004. In 2014, soon after the BJP came to power, Kalyan Singh was appointed Governor.