While Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will go down in history as the third longest-serving PM of India, the decade-long UPA government has another interesting but less talked about constant — Banwari Lal Joshi. He has been a Governor ever since the UPA came to power in 2004 and, on Wednesday, he was appointed as Governor of Uttar Pradesh for a second term.
Joshi was appointed Lt. Governor of Delhi in June 2004. He resigned from that post on being appointed the Governor of Meghalaya in April 2007. In October 2007, he was appointed Governor of Uttarakhand. Two years later, in July 2009, he was appointed Governor of UP. A former IPS officer, Joshi has managed one gubernatorial assignment after another, but kept a low-profile.
An old Nehru-Gandhi family loyalist, Joshi enjoys the trust of the Congress’s first family and the widespread impression is that he being rewarded for it. His association with the family is said to have started in the 1960s when he began looking after the security of PM Jawaharlal Nehru. He then oversaw the security of Indira Gandhi and her family members, including the grandchildren.
The 80-year-old, who began his career in policing in 1957 after joining the Rajasthan police service, could well become one of the longest-serving governors in India along with Surjit Singh Barnala and A R Kidwai after completion of his second term as Governor of UP.
He has worked with several PMs, including Lal Bahadur Shastri apart from Nehru and Indira.