Meghalaya Governor V Shanmuganathan, facing intense criticism after nearly 100 employees of the Raj Bhavan demanded his removal for "compromising" the dignity of the gubernatorial office, resigned from his post today, official sources said.
After allegations by a woman job seeker that she was sexually molested by Shanmuganathan during a personal interview, 98 employees of the Raj Bhavan had written to Prime Minister’s Office and to Rashtrapati Bhavan demanding his immediate removal.
Shanmuganathan, in his resignation sent to President Pranab Mukherjee, has denied all charges.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma had said earlier in the day said that he was waiting for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Home Ministry to take a call.
A veteran RSS activist from Tamil Nadu, Shanmuganathan was appointed as Meghalaya Governor on May 20, 2015, and was given additional charge of Arunachal Pradesh on September 16, 2016, after JP Rajkhowa was removed.
He was also in charge of Manipur from September 2015 to August 2016.
A section of employees of the Shillong Raj Bhavan, in a five-page letter, demanded the removal of Shanmuganathan for "seriously compromising" the dignity of the gubernatorial office.
"We expect the hon'ble Prime Minister to take action and remove the incumbent Governor of Meghalaya and restore the dignity of Raj Bhavan," a letter signed by 98 Raj Bhavan employees said.
A copy of the letter was sent to the Prime Minister's Office, the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Union Home Minister and Chief Minister Mukul Sangma.
"He (Shanmuganathan) has seriously compromised the dignity of the Raj Bhavan and made it a young ladies' club. 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," they alleged.
The employees claimed that security of the Governor's house has also been compromised.
The 11 point-letter stated the Governor has "appointed two public relations officers, a cook and a nurse on night duty, all of whom are women".
The staff alleged that the Governor "selected only girls" to work for him and shifted the male official private secretary to his secretariat.
According to reports in local newspapers, a woman has alleged molestation by the Governor, a charge he has categorically denied.
The victim alleged that the Governor had a personal interview with her on the night of December 8 for the post of public relations officer and made “inappropriate advances” after he personally called her to attend the interview, according to a report in the Shillong Times.
The Governor has admitted that he met some candidates separately as well as in a group but he denied calling one of the candidates from a personal number and asking her to come after 6 pm.
“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 said.
Though the victim has not filed any FIR, Meghalaya DGP SB Singh told the media that the matter was referred to the Government and legal opinion is being sought.