9 Governors to retire in next 3 months

9 Governors to retire in next 3 months

Ram Naik (Governor of Uttar Pradesh), Vajubhai Vala (Governor of the state of Karnataka) and Keshari Nath Tripathi (Governor of West Bengal).

Nine governors, including in Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, will be completing their five-year terms in the next three months, amid speculation that the Narendra Modi government may draft in senior leaders like Sushma Swaraj and Sumitra Mahajan to Raj Bhavans as the vacancies arise.

If Prime Minister Modi decides to fill in vacancies in Chhattisgarh and Mizoram as well as separate governors for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, while retaining E S L Narasimhan, in one of them, the government may have to look for 12 faces for Governors.

It is not clear whether Modi government will repeat all of them, while chances of retaining some of them like Kerala Governor P Sathasivam (70), a former Chief Justice of India, who completes his term in August, are there.

While four Governors are set to retire in July and August, one will retire in September. In 2020, three more Governors will complete their terms.

Among the new names speculated for governorship include former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and former Union Minister Uma Bharti.

Whether Kerala BJP leader Kummanam Rajasekharan - who quit governorship to contest the Lok Sabha election but lost - will get another shot in Raj Bhavan is also to be seen, as the BJP may want him to fight a Kerala Assembly bypoll.

Swaraj's name was speculated as Andhra Pradesh Governor earlier this month after Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan congratulated her on Twitter for the "appointment," a post he later deleted. Swaraj also denied any such developments. Mahajan, who did not contest the Lok Sabha election, may also get the call.

If the government decides to bench Narasimhan, the only UPA-appointed Governor continuing in the NDA regime, one of the names that is doing the rounds for the Governorship in Telangana is that of Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi.

For the government, the appointments in West Bengal, where Keshri Nath Tripathi (84) is completing his term next month and Karnataka, where Vajubhai Vala (80) is retiring in August, are crucial due to the political situation in these states.

It is also to be seen whether veteran BJP leaders Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh (87), the oldest occupant of Raj Bhavan at present, and his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Ram Naik (85) get an extension.

Gujarat Governor O P Kohli (83), another RSS veteran, is also completing his term next month while Goa Governor Mridula Sinha is finishing her term in August. Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao (78) and Nagaland's P B Acharya (87) will also retire in the next two months. 

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