Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has not only shown unseemly haste but also a lack of grace in the summary sacking of Kanak Tiwari, the advocate general (AG) of Chhattisgarh. The matter concerns the highest legal office in the state.

Bhagel reportedly claimed that 78-year-old Tiwari had handed in his resignation. Tiwari, however, maintained that this was not true. “I have not resigned. And the government never asked me to resign,” he told Bar and Bench, adding: “There was no reason for me to resign.”

Tiwari, meanwhile, sought an appointment with governor Anandiben Patel, submitting a letter claiming that being the appointing authority, only she could sack him. He also apprised Patel that he had not sent a resignation letter to either the chief minister or the governor. Patel has referred the matter to the new Union home minister, Amit Shah, for advice.

Tiwari’s sacking is well within the rights of the state government, but it has become an unsavoury issue.

At one time, Tiwari was the chief minister’s political guru. They belong to the same district, and both had Vasudev Chandrakar as their mentor.

Tiwari’s was also the first appointment Baghel made immediately after assuming office in December 2018. The manner in which the situation has deteriorated in just five months has shocked Tiwari. “I must have sent him at least 500 WhatsApp messages requesting meetings over important administration issues – but to no avail,” he said. “There was lately no dialogue between us.”

The lack of faith in Tiwari seems to have arisen from the delay in action in the criminal cases against Puneet Gupta, the son-in-law of Raman Singh, director general of police Mukesh Gupta and Aman Singh, former principal secretary to Raman Singh. Tiwari had advised Baghel against forming special investigation teams in their cases.