Former Rajya Sabha MP V P Singh Badnore was among the three Governors and one Lieutenant Governor appointed by the NDA government Wednesday.
Former Union Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla will take charge as Governor of Manipur, and former MP and managing editor of Nagpur-based daily `The Hitavada’ Banwarilal Purohit will be the next Governor of Assam, while MP VP Singh Badnore will be the Governor of poll bound Punjab. The Centre also appointed a new Administrator for Lakshwadeep.
Purohit has represented both the BJP and Congress in Parliament.
Former Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly and BJP’s erstwhile MLA Jagdish Mukhi will take over as Lieutenant-Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. BJP national secretary and retired Jammu and Kashmir police officer Farooq Khan, who once led anti-militancy operations in the state, is the new Administrator of Lakshwadeep.
Khan, a 1994-batch IPS officer who retired in 2013, is the BJP’s secretary in-charge of the Northeast. Heptulla had last month resigned from the Union Cabinet, reportedly for having crossed the unofficial retirement age of 75. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is believed to have set an unwritten 75-year ‘age bar’ for ministers, and party veterans such as L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi have been kept out of the Cabinet and co-opted in the ‘Margdarshak Mandal’. Heptullah will take over from Meghalaya Governor V Shanmuganathan, who held additional charge as the Manipur Governor.
Badnore’s appointment as Punjab Governor comes nearly 19 months after the previous incumbent, Shivraj Patil, demitted office in January 2015. Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki holds additional charge of Punjab at present.
Badnore, who comes from Bhilwara district of Rajasthan, has been a four-time BJP MLA in the state (for the terms 1977-80, 1985-90, 1993-98 and 1998-99) and was Cabinet Minister for Irrigation in the state government in 1998-99. He was twice elected to the Lok Sabha and had recently completed his term as Rajya Sabha MP.
Nagaland Governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya held additional charge as Assam Governor, a post which will now be assumed by 76-year-old Purohit. Mukhi, 73 will take over from Lt General A K Singh (Retd) in Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.