Lalji Tandon sworn in as Bihar Governor

Lalji Tandon sworn in as Bihar Governor

Senior BJP leader and protege of former prime minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee, Lalji Tandon was sworn in as governor of Bihar here on Thursday. He was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of Patna High Court Mukesh Shah.

The 83-year-old veteran leader earlier served as BJP's Lok Sabha member from 2009 to 2014 representing Lucknow when Vajpayee could not contest the parliamentary poll owing to ill-health.

Tandon, sometimes called the "rakhi brother" of BSP Mayawati, enjoys cordial relations with the rival party leader even today.

He had served under her as the urban development minister when Mayawati was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. Despite the love-hate relationship between the BJP and the BSP, Tandon has maintained warm ties with Mayawati.

Born in Lucknow on April 12, 1935, Tandon has been a member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly thrice besides being a member of the Legislative Council twice. He served as a cabinet minister in the Kalyan Singh regime as well as the short-lived Rajnath Singh government.

In 2009, he was asked to contest the Lok Sabha poll from Lucknow, a seat represented by Vajpayee since 1991. Tandon defeated Congress' Rita Bahuguna Joshi (now in BJP and a minister in Yogi Government) by over 40,000 votes.

Earlier, during the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, he was mired in a controversy while he was officiating as Vajpayee's election manager in Lucknow.

On his (Tandon's) birthday on April 12, 2004, he reportedly organised a function at Chandrashekhar Azad Park to distribute sarees to women.

This was part of Vajpayee's election campaign. But a stampede broke out in which 21 women died. After much brouhaha, Tandon was removed as poll manager.

Later, he was exonerated of all the charges. Since then, he has been leading an inactive political life although his son Ashutosh Tandon is a minister in the Yogi Government.

This will be the first time that the octogenarian leader will serve as the governor of any state. The previous incumbent in Bihar, Satya Pal Malik, has been made the Jammu and Kashmir governor.