Shillong, January 27: Meghalaya Governor V Shanmuganathan has resigned days after a controversy was triggered by reports in local media, which accused him of sexual misconduct.
67-year-old Shanmuganathan tendered his resignation from the post last night. The resignation also follows a protest in Shillong, in which civil society groups hit the streets on Republic Day.
Meghalaya has seen many sex scandals in quick succession. MLA Julius Dorphang was arrested earlier this month for raping a minor girl twice. However, in case of Shanmuganathan, an RSS member and a political appointee of the BJP to the post of Meghalaya governor — the resignation was prompted by a letter sent to Modi and copies of it sent to President Pranab Mukherjee, the Prime Minister's Office, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma.
In the letter, over 80 staff members of the Raj Bhavan have written about Shanmuganathan: "He 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."
Notably, Shanmuganathan had been accused of appointing only young girls to some posts, like "two public relations officers, a cook and a nurse on night duty, all of whom are women." He has also reportedly appointed only young women to work with him, and shifted a male private secretary to the secretariat office.
The women activists had also begun a signature campaign 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.
V Shanmuganathan (born 21 November 1949) was elected as a Governor of Meghalaya in 2015. A veteran RSS activist from Tamil Nadu, he also held an additional charge as Governor of Arunachal Pradesh since September 2016 till his resignation.