The government is planning to appoint new governors in at least six States, the Indian home minister said.
There are vacancies in Governors’ posts in Bihar, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura. While Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil will retire on January 21, Himachal Pradesh Governor Urmila Singh will complete her five-year tenure on January 24.
West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi is holding additional charge of Bihar and Meghalaya, while Nagaland Governor P.B. Acharya holds additional charge of Assam and Tripura. Also, Uttarakhand Governor K.K. Paul is holding additional charge of Manipur.
“We are planning to appoint 6-7 new Governors in the next 15-20 days,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said. These will include governors who had objected to being asked to leave after prime minister Narendra Modi came to power in May.
Governor of Tamil Nadu, K. Rosaiah, and his Odisha counterpart, S.C. Jamir, both retire in the next few months and are among the few Governors who were appointed by the previous UPA government and continue to hold office after the NDA dispensation came to power. Aziz Qureshi, who had moved Supreme Court objecting to Union Home Secretary’s nudging Governors to quit office, was shifted to Mizoram Raj Bhavan from Uttarakhand early this month.
Union home secretary Anil Goswami had called governors who were appointed by the previous government and told them that the new government wanted them to relinquish office. That had created a controversy, just weeks after Modi came to power.
UPA-appointed Governors Sheila Dikshit (Kerala), M.K. Narayanan (West Bengal), Ashwani Kumar (Nagaland), B.L. Joshi (U.P.), B.V. Wanchoo (Goa), Shekhar Dutt (Chhattisgarh) and V.K. Duggal (Manipur) subsequently resigned.
V. Purushothaman, Governor of Mizoram, had resigned after he was transferred to Nagaland, while Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan tendered his resignation as he was being shifted to Mizoram. Kamla Beniwal, who had a running battle with Mr. Modi when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister and she the Governor of the State, was sacked after being transferred to Mizoram. Among those shown the door was also the Lt. Governor of Puducherry, Virendra Kataria, a former Congress leader.