The second person to be appointed Governor by the NDA government, the first being Draupadi Murmu in 2015, Biswabhusan Harichandan is one of the seniormost leaders of the BJP in Odisha, having joined the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, precursor to the BJP, back in 1971.
He soon became a national executive member and state general secretary of the Jana Sangh, where he built close ties with Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani.
Born in 1934, Harichandan is a trained lawyer.
He joined Janata Party in 1977, and subsequently the BJP — he was the party’s Odisha (then Orissa) unit president from 1980 to 1988. He rejoined Janata Party in 1988, and went back to the saffron party in 1996.
Harichandan has been a five-time MLA — elected thrice from Bhubaneswar and twice from Chilika — and was a minister under three chief ministers: Nilamani Routray, Biju Patnaik and Naveen Patnaik. He held important portfolios such as Food and Civil Supplies, Law, Labour, Revenue and Industries.
Harichandan was among the few BJP leaders leaders in Odisha who openly expressed reservations against any tie up with the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in the run-up to this year’s Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
After his appointment, Harichandan has said he will make efforts to see disputes between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, such as Polavaram and Kotia, are resolved.
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