While vacancies were created for the post of Governors, BJP has filled some of those vacancies with old party workers. BJP government at centre needlessly indulged in unwanted exercise of throwing out state Governers appointed by the earlier government. Unless and until, there is no proven allegations or their tenures get over, centre is adviced not to discontinue service of head of the Raj Bhavans. The new government should first fulfill the promises made to voters and other grave issues instead of petty politics. With the NDA government at the Centre reportedly nudging several Governors appointed by the UPA regime to resign, Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah, a veteran Congressman from Andhra Pradesh, has also come under the spotlight. Mr. Rosaiah was the best finance minister in the state of AP since the state was formed. He is a leader with good administrative skills, widely respected by the IAS cadres. He could not control the Telangana agitation because he is not a power packed politician of modern days. He is one jewel of a politician remaining from the good old days of 1960s and 70s where leaders stood for their principles. He could not stabilise AP after the great YSR’s death because YSR’s power hungry son who has misguided by other power hungry politicians created everyday headaches for him. Rosaiah was definitely an eligible person for an honourable post like governor. Though opposed principally, he shares a good personal touch with leaders of all parties including Chandrababu Naidu. A former Chief Minister of the united Andhra Pradesh, Rosaiah took over the post in August 2011, succeeding Surjit Singh Barnala. His tenure would extend till 2016, when the Assembly elections are due in the State. About a week ago, there were reports that the party wanted to rehabilitate Jaswant Singh [now expelled from the BJP] by replacing Mr. Rosaiah with him in Tamil Nadu. But nothing has changed. Given the State government’s equation with Mr. Rosaiah, a section of the BJP leaders feels that changing him could send a wrong signal to the AIADMK on the Centre’s intentions, especially when the AIADMK’s support may be crucial for the Narendra Modi government in the Rajya Sabha.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government which came to power on May 26 had nudged several Governors appointed by the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government to resign in the wake of the change of the government. While five Governors have put in their papers, two completed their tenure, rendering seven vacancies in the Raj Bhavans. Though the names of several senior BJP leaders are being speculated upon for gubernatorial appointments and there are vacancies in the Raj Bhavans of U.P., Chhattisgarh, Nagaland, Goa, West Bengal, Karnataka and Tripura, the Narendra Modi government, a day ahead of Parliament’s budget session, chose to affect only transfers and handover additional responsibilities to some of the incumbents. All state governors and president are ornamental heads of governments. While the post of president is needed at least to sign approved bills etc and also receive guests from abroad, the post of governors is totally not warranted and also a burden on state tax payers. If we calculate the cost versus the benefit for governor’s post, we can easily say we are wasting lot of money and that money can be best utilised for poor people, education, healthcare etc. Instead of Governor, the president can have advisors in each state who can report the matters of importance like political turmoil, law and order breakdown, and other matters which could not be handled by State.
The legacy of British protocol systems should be removed forthwith. Governors’ post must be above any political party’s. They report to the President and not to the ruling party or government. Hence, while appointing Governors, proper care must be taken. The Governors may be selected from retired judges, IAS/ IPS officials or prominent scholars. Even the eligible district collectors may be recommended for Governors.
Rashtrapati Bhavan release says Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya has been appointed as Nagaland Governor; Balramji Das Tandon for Chhattisgarh and Keshari Nath Tripathi for West Bengal. Senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Ram Naik was appointed as Governor of Uttar Pradesh and party’s veteran Delhi leader O.P. Kohli will move to Gujarat, in the first appointment of five Governors by the Narendra Modi government. According to a Rashtrapati Bhavan communiqué, Naik will take over in Uttar Pradesh after B.L. Joshi, perceived to be a close confidante of the Gandhi family, was asked to tender his resignation. Joshi was the first Governor who tendered his resignation after the Modi Government came to power on June 17 this year. A three-time Parliamentarian, the 80-year-old Naik has the rare distinction of being the only Minister who completed five years as Petroleum and Natural gas minister in one government. Hit by cancer, Naik was bedridden in 1994 but fought back resolutely and overcame the deadly disease. He had announced in 2013 that he would not be contesting the 2014 elections. The 78-year-old Mr. Kohli, who was a Rajya Sabha member from 1994 to 2000, takes over as Governor in Gujarat after 87-year-old Kamla Beniwal was shifted to Mizoram by the Government for remainder of her term till November this year. A former Chief of BJP’s Delhi unit in 2009, Mr. Kohli has been associated with BJP since his student days and was President of its student wing — ABVP — and later became Chief of Delhi University Teacher Association. According to the communiqué, Keshri Nath Tripathi, a former Uttar Pradesh Speaker will take over charge in West Bengal, a post which had fallen vacant after the resignation of M K Narayanan after he was nudged to resign. A poet and author of books, Tripathi, who will turn 80 in November this year, was a five-time MLA and has written a few books like Commentary on “The Representation of the People Act, 1951” and two poetic books in Hindi — ‘Manonukriti’, ’Aayu Pankh’. In his student life, he went to jail in connection with the Kashmir Movement. Balram Das Tandon, 87, founder member of Jan Sangh in 1951, was appointed Governor of Chhatisgarh after Shekhar Dutt tendered his resignation on June 18 after he too was sounded by the Union Home Ministry. Tandon was the Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab in 1969 and later served as Cabinet Minister in Parkash Singh Badal’s government. A six time MLA, Tandon was critical of Badal government’s decision in 2012 of providing free electricity to state farmers. Padmanabha Acharya, a member of working group on North East region of BJP and Co-Convener of Overseas Friends of BJP, was appointed Governor of Nagaland after President Pranab Mukherjee accepted resignation of Tripura Governor Vakkom Purushothaman, who was also officiating as Nagaland Governor. The President asked Acharya to perform the duties of Tripura Governor until regular arrangements are made, the communiqué said. Home Ministry is believed to have finalised names of Ram Naik, Kesri Nath Tripathi and B.D. Tandon.
With nine gubernatorial positions falling vacant in quick succession, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government is learnt to be fast-tracking the process of appointment of a new set of Governors in Raj Bhavans. Though, some other names are doing the rounds for the gubernatorial posts — Lalji Tandon from Uttar Pradesh, Kailash Joshi from Madhya Pradesh, V.K. Malhotra from Delhi, O. Rajagopal from Kerala and eminent jurist Soli Sorabjee, who served as the Attorney-General during previous NDA rule — sources said these could be cleared in the second installment. After the NDA government nudged several UPA-appointed Governors to quit in the wake of the change of government at the Centre, some resigned while others continue to hold on to their positions. In a first tough action, Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Virender Kataria, a senior Congress leader who had assumed office last year, was dismissed last week.