After long consultations, the Centre has asked Chattisgarh governor E S L Narasimhan to move over to Andhra Pradesh and zeroed in on former Defence secretary Shekhar Dutt as a replacement, sources said.
Senior Congress leader Mohsina Kidwai will be the new governor of Jharkhand, from where K Sankaranarayan is being shifted to Maharashtra.
Himachal Pradesh Governor Prabha Rau is being moved to Rajasthan from Himachal Pradesh, where former Union minister and senior Congress leader Urmilaben Patel will be the new incumbent.
“A formal announcement is expected any day. The names will be forwarded by the home ministry to Rashtrapathi Bhavan,” said a ministry official.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi had discussed a number of names in this regard.
Thereafter, the core committee comprising the prime minister, the Congress president, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Defence Minister A K Anthony and Congress General Secretary Ahmed Patel finalised the list.
With Narayanan’s exit as the NSA, former Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon has emerged as the front runner for the post. The appointment of Narayanan, who twice held the post of director of Intelligence Bureau, as the governor of West Bengal has the approval of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, according to sources.
However, a section of CPM leaders, including politburo member Sitaram Yechury, had aired their reservation over Narayanan’s appointment.
Narasimhan, another former IB chief, is being confirmed as Andhra Pradesh governor for his apparent role in defusing the crisis triggered by the Telangana agitation.
Narasimhan has served the state as an IPS officer. Patil, who was forced to quit as home minister in the wake of the 26/11 attacks, will be ending his “political exile” by taking up the new assignment. A former Lok Sabha Speaker, Patil is considered close to Sonia.