Now, governors get invites for swearing-in

Prime-minister-designate Narendra Modi has written to some governors, seeking their presence at the swearing-in ceremony of his government on May 26.

In a handwritten note to them, Modi said he was happy to share the news of President Pranab Mukherjee's invitation to him to form government following the BJP winning majority on its own in the Lok Sabha polls. Two days ago, Modi had signalled a big shift in India's approach with the unprecedented act of inviting heads of state of Saarc countries for his swearing-in ceremony.

In his letter to the governors, he said: “Your presence at the swearing-in ceremony will be a blessing.” Modi's latest move comes in the wake of reports that his new government is likely to axe several governors appointed during the UPA regime.

In 2004, the Congress-led UPA government had, just after coming to power, removed most of the governors appointed by the previous NDA government, citing their “RSS background”. They included Vishnu Kant Shastri (Uttar Pradesh), Kailashpati Mishra (Gujarat), Babu Parmanand (Haryana) and Kidar Nath Sahani (Goa).

The list of current governors appointed by the Congress include Maharashtra’s K Sankaranarayanan (former Kerala minister), Karnataka’s H R Bhardwaj (former Union law minister), Gujarat’s Kamla Beniwal (former Rajasthan minister), Jharkhand’s Syed Ahmed (former Maharashtra minister), and Kerala’s Sheila Dikshit (former Delhi chief minister).

The BJP circles have been abuzz with talk of Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil—a former home minister who sacked several BJP-appointed governors in 2004— also being shown the door. 

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