Kamla Beniwal (Hindi:कमला बेनीवाल) is the Governor of the Indian state of Gujarat. Before this she was the Governor of Tripura. She is a senior congress politician from Rajasthan state. She served as a minister in a number of congress ministries in the Rajasthan state government. The 85 year old Kamla was the first female governor of any North East state.
At the age of 27, she was the first female minister in Rajasthan. Kamla has been a minister in Congress governments in Rajasthan since 1954, holding many portfolios, including home, education and agriculture. She was the revenue minister in the Ashok Gehlot government.
Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal and many former Congress Ministers and political leaders from Rajasthan were accused in the 1,000-crore Jaipur Development Authority land scam. She was allocated expensive land at low prices on the basis of false affidavits and documents.
Dr Kamla Beniwal had claimed to be a farm labourer putting in 16 hours of work every day for the past 41,000 days according to the records of Kisan Samuhik Krishi Sahakari Samiti Limited (KSKSSL), a cooperative body in Jaipur, based upon which land was allocated to her. The cooperatives registrar of Jaipur passed strong strictures against KSKSSL and in its inquiry concluded that the samiti's claim that they were farm labourers was false, and that the samiti had deliberately and intentionally given false statements. This issue was raised in Rajya Sabha during the pre-noon sitting which led to stalled proceedings and the House was then adjourned for 15 minutes.
Appointment of Gujarat Lokayukta
The Lokayukta is a state-level body for monitoring the government, particularly for corruption. In August 2011, Dr Beniwal appointed Justice R A Mehta as the Lokayukta. She did this under Section 3 of the Gujarat Lokayukta Act, 1986, which gives the governor the right to appoint Lokayukta without consulting the government, when there has been an extreme delay in making the appointment. In so doing, Beniwal bypassed the Narendra Modi government of Gujarat, which had been sitting on the matter since 2004.
Justice Mehta had been recommended by the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court in June 2011, but the government did not act on the suggestion. In August, the father of murdered RTI activist Amit Jethwa filed a Public Interest Litigation in the High Court, which then served a show cause notice on the government for the delay in the appointment of Lokayukta. In response, the Gujarat state cabinet set up another committee of five ministers to look into the matter. Opponents of Modi claimed this was "a move to delay the appointment" of an anti-corruption chief, while BJP blamed Congress for playing petty politics.
The unilateral action of the governor was challenged in court by Gujarat's government, which even though upheld the decision of the Gujarat Hight Court, called the move "unfortunate and unconstitutional".
- Kamla Beniwal, 83, is Gujarat governor
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