UP Governor B L Joshi’s resignation — signalling that there could be similar vacancies in a few Raj Bhavans across the country — has given hope to several senior BJP leaders to end their political careers with gubernatorial assignment.
Apart from senior leaders Murli Manohar Joshi and Yashwant Sinha, BJP sources confide that leaders like Kailash Joshi, Kalyan Singh, Kesarinath Tripathi, Lalji Tandon, Balram Das Tandon, Vijay Malhotra and O Rajagopal are some other names doing the rounds for being appointed governors.
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Apart from Joshi, who is the only sitting member of Lok Sabha among the names mentioned, party leaders did not rule out the possibility of some other sitting MPs like Shanta Kumar, B C Khanduri, C P Thakur and Bhagat Singh Koshyari as probables for governorship sometime over the course of the BJP-led government at the Centre.
While the names of Joshi and Sinha were also doing the rounds for other assignments, like ambassadorship or deputy chairmanship of the Planning Commission, party patriarch L K Advani Tuesday suggested that Sinha holds the potential to be the chief minister of Jharkhand.
The leaders, however, refused to confirm whether they have been sounded out by the government for their impending assignments. Sources also avoided a guessing game as to the states or UTs which may see new governors or Lt Governors appointed.
Party leaders said while such top level political appointments will be the prerogative of the Narendra Modi-led dispensation at the Centre, they underlined that BJP organisation and even RSS leaders will be consulted while rewarding these leaders with the assignments.
During the previous BJP-led NDA government, leaders like Sunder Singh Bhandari, Sikander Bakht, Kedar Nath Sahni, Madan Lal Khurana, Suraj Bhan, Bhai Mahavir, Bhai Parmanand, Kailashpati Mishra and K R Malkani among others were prominent among the BJP old guard who were made governors by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Apart from several ex-bureaucrats who have been appointed governors by the UPA regime, there are a total of 19 governors who have been active Congress leaders.