Tamil Nadu BJP chief Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan and Arif Mohammad Khan, a cabinet minister in the Rajiv Gandhi government, were among the five appointed as Governors on Sunday. While Soundararajan has been given charge of Telangana, Mohammad Khan got Kerala. Kalraj Mishra, Bandaru Dattatreya and Bhagat Singh Koshyari were the remaining three appointments announced by Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday.
The appointments will come into effect from the dates the officials will assume charge of their respective offices.
Telangana Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan
Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan had lost the 17th Lok Sabha election to DMK’s Kanimozhi in Thoothukudi. She is the daughter of veteran Congress leader Kumari Ananthan. Among party cadres in the state, she is called the ‘Sushmaji of Tamil Nadu’. Her oratory and translation skills earned her a good reputation with national leaders. She would translate the speeches of veterans like L K Advani, Jaswanth Singh and Venkaiah Naidu.
“…I chose BJP despite growing up as daughter of a Congress leader… Biggest challenge in my life was to stay determined about my decision to join BJP and make a mark for myself without any hurdles. Today, my father will be happy for my decision,” she was quoted as saying by PTI.
The post of Telangana Governor was under the dual charge of E S L Narasimhan, who was the Governor of Andhra Pradesh before its bifurcation. He recently demitted office.
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan
Arif Mohammad Khan has had several portfolios ranging from energy to civil aviation. He had famously resigned from Rajiv Gandhi’s Cabinet in 1986 after the government decided to overturn the Supreme Court judgment in the Shah Bano case by bringing legislation in Parliament. After quitting the Congress, Khan joined the Janata Dal and BSP. In 2004, he joined the BJP but left three years later, saying he felt ignored in the party. He was recently in the news after PM Modi quoted a former Congress leader as having said that it was not the duty of their party to uplift Muslims and “if they want to lie in the gutter let them be”. The remark the Prime Minister referred to, Khan claimed, was made by P V Narasimha Rao, then a Union minister. He replaces P Sathasivam, the former chief justice of India whose five-year term came to an end.
Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra
Kalraj Mishra, who took charge as Himachal Pradesh Governor in July, has been moved to Rajasthan. Mishra, 78, had resigned from the Narendra Modi-led government as Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in 2017 after he crossed the age of 75, the BJP’s unofficial age limit for holding an elected post. He did not contest the last Lok Sabha election. Kalraj Mishra will replace Kalyan Singh in Rajasthan.
Himachal Pradesh Governor Bandaru Dattatreya
Bandaru Dattatreya, who served as Minister in both Modi and Vajpayee governments, was appointed as the Governor of Himachal Pradesh. He was Union Minister of State (MoS) for Urban Development and MoS for Railways during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee years. In 2014, Dattatreya was made a Minister of State for Labour and Employment in the Modi government and was the lone minister from Telangana. He was replaced by G. Kishan Reddy as BJP’s candidate from Secunderabad during 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari
Bhagat Singh Koshyari, a former chief minister of Uttarakhand, was appointed as the Maharashtra Governor. He will be the 22nd Governor of Maharashtra and will succeed C. Vidyasagar Rao, whose five-year term came to an end.