In 2009, 85-year-old Indian politician, Narayan Datt Tiwari, was involved in a sex scandal that involved 3 women at his place of residence. The scandal resulted in N.D. Tiwari's resignation from his position of governor of Andhra Pradesh.
Who Was N.D. Tiwari?
Narayan Datt Tiwari was a veteran Congress Leader and former 3-time Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, as well as serving once as Uttarakhand's Chief Minister. Other offices that he held were as part of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's cabinet, first as the Minister for External Affairs, and then later as the Minister of Finance.
The N.D. Tiwari scandal came on the heels of a paternity suit against Tiwari the year before (2008). Images were released to the media that depicted Tiwari in a compromising position with three girls at his home in Hyderabad. On that Friday, a video was aired on a local television channel that clearly showed him in bed with 3 girls who allegedly worked at Raj Bhavan. The clip ran for an hour before airing was restrained by the Hyderabad High Court. The video footage was 3 and a half minutes long and appeared to have been shot during the night inside of Raj Bhavan. The video ended up on YouTube, being the most watched on the Saturday after the incident was leaked.
That next Sunday saw the story splashed across newspapers, sparking a number of debates online regarding the conduct of India's politicians. Another private Telugu channel also aired the footage, triggering a number of female activist to stage protests outside of the Raj Bhavan, where added security was needed.
Later that evening he resigned, however, his office claimed he had done so for health reasons. Tiwari claimed that the footage was morphed or doctored, and that he was being framed by a political conspiracy.
N Chandrababu Naidu, president of the Telugu Desam Party and opposition leader for Andhra Pradesh, demanded that Tiwari be immediately fired over the scandal. He stated that the footage had everyone feeling ashamed and that it further depicted the falling values and ethics of politicians in their public life. Naidu also demanded that an inquiry be done by the CBI, claiming that other MP's were involved.
A criminal complaint was lodged with the police by a lawyer against Tiwari for blackmail, sexually abusing girls, and misuse of office. The advocate, Gopala Krishna Kalanidhi, felt that since Tiwari no longer held the office of Governor, that he was open for criminal prosecution for abusing the Constitutional office for his personal benefits, and for the molestation of women.
Fallout from a Deal Gone Sour?
Staff of the Raj Bhavan were also interrogated about details relating to the case. It was alleged that this was the aftermath of a mining deal that went bad. The channel that aired the footage also alleged that a woman from Uttarakhand, named Radhika, stated that she was the one who sent these three girls to the Raj Bhavan on ND Tiwari's request via one of his aids. Radhika alleged that she had a deal with Tiwari, that he promised her a license for iron ore mining in the Andhra Pradesh but he had reneged. She stated that she wanted to expose Tiwari for what he had done.
As a means to try to do damage control, the Raj Bhavan filed a PIL with the AP High Court against the channel, ABN Andhra Jyothy, which had aired the footage. They were given a restraint order to stop the footage from being aired further.
The Raj Bhavan stated that there was no truth in the allegations and that it was merely sensation-mongering, stating that a defamation case would be filed against the channel.
This newest scandal came on the heels of a paternity suit that was filed against Tiwari a year earlier. Rohit Sekhar filed the paternity case claiming to be the son of Tiwari. DNA mapping was ordered by the court. In July of 2012, Tiwari's lawyers petitioned to keep the paternity results a secret, but this was over-ruled by the Delhi High Court on the grounds that an end needed to be put to the controversy. The results were released and it was found that Tiwari was indeed Rohit's biological father and that his biological mother was Ujjwala Tiwari. Tiwari married Ujjwala on 2014, accepting Rohit as his son and finding a new family at the age of 88, and died at the age of 93.
A Twist in the Plot
Several months after the scandal initially broke out, a new story came to light involving Tiwari's OSD (Officer on Special Duty), Aryendra Sharma. Reports published in The Indian Express had alleged that Sharma played a role in getting the women that appeared on the sex tape. It was said that the OSD exclusively handled these visits.
These allegations came from Mohammed Shokat Ali, then Chief Security Officer of Raj Bhavan. He claimed that Sharma violated security norms and protocols on a number of occasions to ensure that no record of their visit was ever made. Normally, a record is made of every visitor, which includes their name, address, entry and exit time.
He stated that Sharma overrode security protocol and defied these security checks, instructing security staff at checkpoints that incoming vehicles belonged to the Raj Bhavan Motor Transport Department, and that they were carrying very important guests who should have an entry that was hassle free. It is said that the OSD was given priveledges and power by the Governor and would often facilitate entry in the name of family members. Ali claimed that these women mostly visited the home late at night,
Effects of the Scandal
The scandal came at a time when Congress was facing some upheaval. It caused investors and politicians alike to be on edge, especially in Hyderabad. The Opposition and many women's rights groups demanded Tiwari's resignation.
Once the situation had been reported, the Chief Secretary of the state was told to send in a report to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on the alleged involvement of Tiwari and the sex scandal. Raj Bhavan stated that the images were false, fabricated, and malicious, and aimed at tarnishing the good reputation of the Governor and creating further unrest for Congress.
The scandal ended Tiwari's long political career, however, and after Tiwari resigned he quietly left Raj Bhavan for New Delhi. He passed away at the age of 93.