What does it take to for the Raj Bhavan of a state to be turned into a ‘ladies club’?
If the employees of the Meghalaya Raj Bhavan are to be believed, just one ‘rude’ governor.
On Thursday, the Meghalaya Governor V Shanmughanathan resigned from the post after around 100 employees of the Raj Bhavan wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and Chief Minister accusing him of turning the prestigious office into a “Ladies Club”.
“He is a hot-headed person. He would have mood-swings and would start abusing people. Since he is asthmatic, people wouldn’t argue with him much,” an employee of Shillong Raj Bhavan on condition of anonymity told ScoopWhoop News.
The letter written by the Raj Bhavan staff, among other things, accuses the V Shanmughanathan of lying about “being with former President, APJ Abdul Kalam during (sic) his last breath in Shillong”.
An accusation that is substantiated with just the claim that Shanmughanathan was “sleeping in his room” when Kalam was hospitalised in Shillong in July 2015. “That incident was singled out just to focus on the kind of tall claims he made about being with the former President during his last moments,” says the employee.
The Governor has also been accused of insulting, humiliating and psychologically torturing “officers and staffs of the Raj Bhavan”. Apparently, the deputy secretary was so humiliated by the Governor in December that he had a stroke soon after and eventually succumbed to it.
“He did insult deputy secretary a lot by using bad language in December. But I don’t know if we can really blame the Governor for his subsequent stroke,” says the employee.
But the most serious allegation leveled against the governor, according to the letter, is that of molesting one of the candidates for the post of a public relation officer (PRO) in the Raj Bhavan during an interview for the job in December 2016.
“Whatever was reported is not right. I have got great respect for everyone. They are like my own grand-daughters. I have not done anything wrong,” the Governor told NorthEast Today website.
When ScoopWhoop News contacted one of the alleged victims of the Governor, she claimed that she was initially too shocked to realise what happened to her. “It’s good that he has resigned. A person in power shouldn’t have done what he did,” she said.
In an interview given to TNT-The Northeast Today the alleged victim stated that it was the Governor who was called her personally for an interview at 7 Pm. She also stated that the Governor hugged and kissed her during the course of the interview which made her extremely uncomfortable.
According to the letter, the Raj Bhavan of Meghalaya has become “a young ladies club” now because of the increase in number of female employees in there. It says young ladies have direct access to the Governor’s bedroom now. The obvious sexism of the statement is not altogether lost on the employees.
“We do realise it sounds a bit sexist. We just want to clarify that we have nothing against the young ladies who have been appointed by Shanmughanathan,” says the employee in a telephonic interview with ScoopWhoop News.
This is not the first time that V Shanmughanathan has found himself in the eye of a storm in teh North-East. In august 2016, when he was the acting Governor of Manipur, he asked Manipur’s top cultural personalities to send in 100-word definitions of culture in order to secure an invitation to tea with him. A leading Manipuri film-maker wrote an open letter in response.