In a major reshuffle, President Ram Nath Kovind transferred two Governors and made four new appointments across six States.
New Governors will take charge of the Raj Bhavans in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Nagaland and Tripura.
Madhya Pradesh Governor and former Chief Minister of Gujarat Anandiben Patel has been transferred to Uttar Pradesh, while the former interlocutor for the Naga talks R.N. Ravi has been appointed as Governor of Nagaland.
Senior Supreme Court advocate and former Member of Parliament Jagdeep Dhankhar will be the new Governor of West Bengal, replacing Keshari Nath Tripathi.
The reshuffle and the choice of Governors is politically significant as they are among the first recommendations from the Home Ministry after Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah took charge. Though appointed by the President, the Home Ministry is the nodal Ministry for the selection of Governors, who act as a bridge between the Centre and State.
Mr. Dhankhar, 68, will take charge in West Bengal at a time when the State is witnessing frequent clashes between workers of the BJP and the Trinamool Congress after the former’s stunning victory in 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats. Since the May 23 Lok Sabha election results, 10 advisories on law and order have been sent by the Centre to the State.
Ms. Anandiben Patel goes to Lucknow with the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the State facing the Opposition’s ire over worsening law and order situation. With her appointment, Uttar Pradesh will get its first woman Governor since its inception in 1950.
Though Sarojini Naidu was the first Governor in 1947, the State was then known as the United Provinces.
Lalji Tandon, now Governor of Bihar, will take charge in Madhya Pradesh. He will be replaced in Patna by Phagu Chuhan.
Mr. Ravi’s appointment is significant as it could give a boost to peace efforts, given his role as the Centre’s interlocutor in talks with the Naga groups.
Bharatiya Janata Party member Ramesh Bais has been appointed as Governor of Tripura, replacing Kaptan Singh Solanki.
Earlier this week, Rajya Sabha MP Anusuiya Uikey and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Biswa Bushan Harichandan were appointed governors of Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh respectively.