The first list of governors is ready with the government which has the names of at least five senior BJP leaders. The names that have been finalised by the BJP top brass after several weeks of brainstorming sessions are former Uttar Pradesh speaker Kesri Nath Tripathi, senior Delhi BJP leader V K Malhotra, former Bhopal MP Kailash Joshi, senior party leader from Punjab Balaram Das Tandon and former petroleum minister Ram Naik.
While Naik is tipped to be governor of Uttar Pradesh, Malhotra is likely to head to Kolkata Raj Bhavan. Official sources said a formal notification of their appointment will be issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan soon.
PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh are said to have discussed the issue two days ago and shortlisted the names Naik told PTI in Mumbai that the party leadership had approached him to accept the post of Governor of Uttar Pradesh, to which he agreed. “I was asked by my party to accept the position of the Governor of UP and I said yes. It is a challenging job.”
Following the new regime’s pressure, six governors have already resigned. Besides B L Joshi (UP) and M K Narayanan (West Bengal), they are Shekhar Dutt (Chhattisgarh), Ashwani Kumar (Nagaland), B V Wanchoo (Goa) and Vakkom B Purushothaman (Mizoram). Two governors — H R Bhardwaj (Karnataka) and Devanand Konwar (Tripura) — retired last month, while Friday Lt Governor of Puducherry Virendra Kataria was sacked by the government.
At Tri Nagar, Smriti Irani centered her speech around Modi, with over 10 references in 11-minute extempore.