Modi may go slow on replacing UPA-appointed governors

Modi may go slow on replacing UPA-appointed governors

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to let more than 15 Congress-appointed governors retire on completion of their term over the next few months rather than undertaking a big exercise to remove them summarily, which would go against a Supreme Court verdict of 2010.

However, a few of them may be transferred once the new government completes a review of the gubernatorial postings which may take place  duly, BJP sources said.

Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj is due to retire on June 29,  Haryana Governor Jagannath Pahadiya on July 26 and Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal's tenure will come to an end on November 27.

Others who will complete their tenure in six to eight months are - M K Narayanan (West Bengal), J B Patnaik (Assam), Shivraj Patil (Punjab) and Urmila Singh (Himachal Pradesh).

Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was appointed as Kerala Governor and in Uttar Pradesh, B L Joshi was given a second term by the UPA in March this year just before the Model Code of Conduct came into effect for the Lok Sabha polls.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra was given a second term in April 2013 and former Home Secretary V K Duggal was appointed as governor of Manipur in December 2013.

Other Governors serving long-term include K Sankaranarayan (serving his second term in Maharashtra), K Rosaiah (Tamil Nadu), Ram Naresh Yadav (Madhya Pradesh), D Y Patil (Bihar), Shriniwas Dadasaheb Patil (Sikkim), Aziz Quereshi (Uttarakhand), Vakkom Purushothaman (Mizoram) and Syed Ahmed (Jharkhand).

Their terms are not due to end before 2016 to 2018. On the other hand, Modi has tasked Congress-appointed E S L Narasimhan, who is Governor of both Andhra Pradesh and the new state of Telangana, with the special role of overseeing the bifurcation process.

Several BJP veterans including Yashwant Sinha, V K Malhotra, Lalji Tandon, Kalyan Singh, Kesri Nath Tripathi and O Rajagopal are in the race to fill gubernatorial vacancies as they arise. Malhotra's name has done the rounds for the gubernatorial role in Karnataka.

As a special gesture, Modi had written to many Governors, seeking their presence at the swearing-in ceremony of his government on May 26.

In 2004, when it came to power, the Congress-led UPA government removed most of the governors appointed by the NDA government. Citing their “RSS background”, the governors who were axed then included Vishnu Kant Shastri (Uttar Pradesh), Kailashpati Mishra (Gujarat) and Babu Parmanand (Haryana).

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