Banwarilal Purohit was sworn in as the Governor of Tamil Nadu on Friday in an oath-taking ceremony held at Raj Bhavan in Chennai. Purohit is the 25th Governor of Tamil Nadu. The Chief Justice of Madras High Court, Justice Indira Banerjee administered the oath of office to Purohit.
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, his cabinet colleagues and DMK Working President and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly MK Stalin were among those present at the ceremony. Purohit, who was previously the Governor of Assam, will replace the current governor of Tamil Nadu, Ch Vidyasagar Rao.
The appointment has come at a time when the role of a governor has become extremely crucial in the state as the political crisis has continued to escalate over the last few months.
Earlier, Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan read out the Warrant of Appointment issued on September 29 by President Ram Nath Kovind, appointing Purohit as Governor of Tamil Nadu. He is the first full-time Governor of the state since the retirement of K Rosaiah in August 2016.
Purohit, a veteran political leader from Vidarbha district of Maharashtra, was a three-time Lok Sabha member from Nagpur constituency. He started his political career in 1977 and was elected to Maharashtra Assembly on a Congress ticket in 1979 and 1980. He was elected twice from Congress, in 1984 and 1989, was elected once from BJP, in 1996. He was ousted from Congress when he took part in kar seva in Ayodhya in 1991, when he was still a member of the party.
Purohit left BJP in 1999 after a span of eight years. He returned to the Indian National Congress and unsuccessfully contested for Lok Sabha seat from Ramtek in 1999. He went on to launch his own party Vidarba Rajya Party and contested Lok Sabha elections from Nagpur. He again contested elections in 2009 for BJP from Nagpur district but lost against Congress’ Vilas Muttemwar.
He was embroiled in high-drama controversy in 2007 when he claimed he had arranged an hour-long meeting between the then RSS chief Balasaheb Deoras and then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1989. He claimed that Gandhi had forged a secret pact with the RSS to permit Shilanyas and construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya in exchange for support from RSS to the Congress in the 1989 elections.