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BJP vs Congress, Centre vs governors

With the NDA govt having indicated it wants governors appointed by the UPA to step down, The Indian Express profiles 15 with a Congress background.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: June 19, 2014 9:28 am
Sheila Dikshit Sheila Dikshit was appointed the Governor of Kerala after she lost to Arvind Kejriwal. (Source: IE archive)

With the NDA govt having indicated it wants governors appointed by the UPA to step down, The Indian Express profiles 15 with a Congress background, some of whom have had run-ins with the govt in NDA-ruled states.


Kamla Beniwal, Gujarat
Term ends November 27, 2014
A former Congress minister in Rajasthan, she joined as governor in 2009 and had severaltussles with the then Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government. Beniwal appointed R A Mehta as lokayukta without the cabinet’s clearance, leading to a legal battle. Though the Supreme Court upheld the appointment, Mehta himself opted out. Beniwal has also held up several bills proposed by the government.

H R Bhardwaj, Karnataka
Terms ends June 29, 2014
Due to complete his term in two weeks. He had several run-ins with the previous BJP government. Bhardwaj, a former Congress union minister, took charge as governor shortly after a series of attacks on churches in coastal Karnataka, for which he pulled up the government. In 2011, he sanctioned the prosecution of then CM B S Yeddyurappa in a corruption case. Also rejected a government candidate for lokayukta.

Debananda Konwar, Tripura
Terms ends March 26, 2018
A former Congressman from Assam, once close to Indira Gandhi, and a former state minister who eventually fell out with Hiteswar Saikia and Tarun Gogoi. In his previous posting as governor (Bihar, 2009-2013), he challenged Nitish Kumar’s then NDA government several times. A sore point was Konwar’s allegedly unilateral decision to appoint VCs of eight universities. Transferred to Tripura after relations with the Bihar government soured.

FORMER Congress chief ministers

Sheila Dikshit, Kerala
Term ends March 11, 2019
The former three-term Delhi CM is a veteran of the Congress, a former MP and union minister. Her appointment as Kerala governor, coming months after her defeat to Arvind Kejriwal in the Delhi assembly elections and shortly before the Lok Sabha polls were announced, is seen as a rehabilitation by the Congress.

J B Patnaik, Assam
Term ends December 11, 2014
A former chief minister of Orissa, he had to resign after the Graham Staines murder in 1999. Patnaik has several opponents in the Congress. Patnaik, 86, met President Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi this week but has denied he had submitted his resignation. He is, in fact, keen to complete his term.

K Rosaiah, Tamil Nadu
Term ends August 31, 2016
A veteran who has spent decades in the Congress, Rosaiah has had an uneventful stint as governor. A former minister in the Y S R Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh, he was made chief minister after YSR’s death but resigned after 10 months to make way for N Kiran Kumar Reddy.

S C Jamir, Orissa
Term ends March 21, 2018
Jamir, 83, five times the chief minister of Nagaland, and who survived three attempts on his life, is known to be a loyalist of the Nehru-Gandhi family. As the governor in a BJD-ruled state, he has has an uneventful first year and has maintained cordial relationship with leaders of all parties.

Jagannath Pahadia, Haryana
Term ends July 27, 2014
The former Congress leader, who has been chief minister of Rajasthan, is set to complete his term and appears under no pressure to step down. The only sensation in his uneventful tenure came when he had a Russell’s viper brought to Raj Bhawan for a religious ritual.

Ram Naresh Yadav, MP
Term ends September 8, 2016
The former UP CM’s equations with the BJP chief minister in MP have largely been smooth in his three years so far, though there have been a couple of controversies with the government. The BJP criticised him last year after the Congress sought to move a no-confidence motion, which the BJP scuttled, but Yadav took his time before declaring the session closed, in between calling on Sonia Gandhi. The CM, nevertheless, has reportedly conveyed to the party that he would like the Congress veteran to stay.


Shivraj Patil, Punjab

Term ends January 22, 2015

An old loyalist of the Nehru-Gandhi family rehabilitated as governor (and Chandigarh administrator) two years after quitting as union home minister following the 26/11 Mumbai attack. Once considered No. 2 in the party’s hierarchy and a veteran of seven consecutive Lok Sabha terms, he has kept a low profile in Punjab and busies himself with Chandigarh. He is said to be reluctant to leave his chair.

Margaret Alva, Rajasthan
Term ends August 2014
Once a Congress leader who has served in both Houses of Parliament, Alva was more critical of the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan than she has been of Vasundhara Raje’s. She had expressed her disappointment at the poor state of universities during the previous regime. The Raje government has never gone into confrontation with Alva, who has made it clear she intends to continue.

D Y Patil, Bihar
Term ends March 22, 2018
A former Congress legislator from Maharashtra who upset the Bihar BJP by deciding not to dissolve the assembly after the NDA split. The BJP feels he should asked Nitish Kumar to resign and take oath afresh. Patil is said to have sought a transfer, preferably somewhere nearer his home state.

K Sankaranarayanan, Maharashtra,
Term ends May 7, 2017
The Congress leader of five decades says he was asked by the Centre to quit. Once a minister in Kerala’s K Karunakaran- and A K Antony-led governments, he is in his second term as Maharashtra governor, having also served in Jharkhand and Nagaland.

Urmila Singh, Himachal
Term ends January 25, 2015
The veteran Congress leader and former MP minister had no run-ins with the previous BJP government, but after the Congress came to power, she gave it sanction to the to prosecute former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal in a cricket association scam. The state BJP has since asked for her recall.

V Purushothaman, Mizoram
Term ends September 2, 2016
Former Congress leader from Kerala with a career dating back to the 1950s. Four-term MLA who was minister for tourism and assembly speaker in Kerala before becoming governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and then Congress-ruled Mizoram.

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