Meghalaya Governor V Shanmuganathan tendered his resignation from the post on Thursday, January 26, following charges of sexual misconduct against him brought by members of the Raj Bhavan — the governor's official residence — in a letter sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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What fuelled the resignation
Meghalaya has of late seen 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, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma.
In the letter, the 80-odd 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."
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.
What this means for BJP
One of the reasons the BJP appointed governors from within the party or the RSS to many states after coming to power in 2014 was to ensure that if and when the saffron party came to power within the state, the government would have fewer hurdles in passing laws and administrating the state.
However, with the sex scandal involving Shanmuganathan erupting, the party's chances of coming to power in Meghalaya — currently ruled by a Congress government led by Mukul Sangma — has taken a serious hit. The party's chances of a good performance in the upcoming elections in neighbouring Manipur are also expected to be dented to an extent because of this scandal.