Vala's term ends, may get extension

Vala's term ends, may get extension

Vajubhai Vala

Karnataka Governor Vajubhai R Vala, whose five-year term ended on Saturday, is likely to get another term in the office.

Though there is no official word on whether he will get an extension or someone else will replace him as the Constitutional head of state, there are indications that Vala may get a second term. He took charge as the governor on September 1, 2014.

Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar told DH that the government had not received any communication from either Rashtrapati Bhavan or the Centre so far. "We are expecting that the Governor's term may be extended," he said.

Vala, now 80, is a trusted aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and served in his Gujarat government as the Finance Minister before being elected as Speaker of Gujarat Vidhan Sabha in January 2013.

The names of former Union Minister Uma Bharati and former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan are doing the rounds as possible replacements for Vala.

Although Vala had mostly cordial relations with the elected government, he did have his share of frictions. Administratively, the government took him head on over the Karnataka State Universities Bill, 2017, with the then Higher Education Minister Basavaraj Rayareddi openly criticising the Governor's office for not assenting it.

Politically, Vala came under attack when, in May 2018, he invited the BJP to form the government much to the chagrin of the Congress-JD(S) coalition. The alliance had termed Vala's action as that of a "Gujarati businessman." Vala was also the target during H D Kumaraswamy's trust vote in July 2019, when he repeatedly sought to intervene with the business of the Legislative Assembly.