Shiela Dikshit quits as Kerala governor; sixth head to roll

Former Delhi CM Sheila Dixit resigns as Kerala governorFormer Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit of the Congress party today confirmed that she had resigned as governor of Kerala.

"I have resigned ... I followed my heart and didn't do it under any pressure. I resigned yesterday (Monday) and I don't want to comment further," Dikshit, who had earlier resisted pressure from the new NDA government at the centre, said.

Dikshit, whose political career included three successive terms as Delhi Chief Minister, served barely seven months as Kerala Governor.

"The news flashing on TV channels is correct. I have resigned," said Ms Dikshit, 76, at a press conference in New Delhi.

She said she will not discuss her further plans till her resignation is formally accepted by President Pranab Mukherjee.

Since the BJP came to power in May, it has made it clear that it wants to replace nearly a dozen governors who were appointed by the previous UPA government.

With Dikshit's resignation, six of those on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's sack list have now chosen to voluntarily step down.

One exception is Aziz Qureshi, the governor of Uttarakhand. He has taken his case to the Supreme Court, alleging that only India's President can order his dismissal.

Dikshit will head back to Delhi as parties in the capital prepare for a possible mid-term state election.

President's Rule was declared in the capital six months ago after Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party quit as chief minister after a mere 49-day term.

The Congress and other opposition parties say that the government's mass ejection of governors is a blatant violation of a Supreme Court order of 2010 that says governors cannot be removed if the government at the centre changes.

Last month, the government sacked Kamla Beniwal as governor of Mizoram just a month after transferring her there from Gujarat, where she had shared a fractious relationship with Narendra Modi while he was chief minister of the state.

(Also see: Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Rajastan get new governors).