The Narendra Modi government is preparing for another round of reshuffles in some Raj Bhavans whose incumbents — appointed by the previous UPA government — managed to survive the return of a BJP-led government at the Centre.
Punjab governor Shivraj Patil, who also doubles as Administrator for Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh governor Urmila Singh and Andhra Pradesh governor ESL Narasimhan may be on their way out, according to sources.
While Narasimhan has completed a tenure of five years, the remaining two will complete their tenure this month.
“There is no plan to extend their term. Their replacement should be announced soon,” a government source told HT.
Former Leader of Opposition in Delhi assembly Vijay Kumar Malhotra and former Lucknow MP Lalji Tandon are waiting in the wings for a posting in a Raj Bhavan. Their names were also in contention in the first round of changes carried out in Raj Bhavans last year, but could not find a position.
Malhotra is tipped to become Punjab governor.
Also, if Prime Minister Narendra Modi sticks to the informal arrangement of keeping 75-plus leaders out of the council of ministers, minority affairs minister Najma Heptulla could also be headed for a Raj Bhavan.
She turns 75 in April this year and her exit from the council of ministers could see minister of state Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi getting the independent charge of the ministry.
On January 1, it was announced that Aziz Qureshi, who was transferred from Uttarakhand, would take charge as the governor of Mizoram. Meghalaya Governor Krishan Kant Paul will take his place in Uttarakhand. Paul was holding additional charge as the Mizoram governor.
Winds of change
Punjab: Governor Shivraj Patil on his way out. Also doubles as administrator for Chandigarh. Hasn’t yet completed his tenure
Mizoram: Aziz Qureshi, who was transferred from Uttarakhand, will take charge. The state has seen six governors in 6 months
Himachal Pradesh: Urmila Singh on her way out. Has not completed her tenure
Andhra Pradesh: ESL Narasimhan on way out. Has completed his term
Uttarakhand: Krishan Kant Paul, who was in charge of Meghalaya, will take charge. He holds additional charge as the governor of Manipur.
Waiting in the wings
Former Leader of Opposition in Delhi assembly Vijay Kumar Malhotra and former Lucknow MP Lalji Tandon could get a Raj Bhavan posting. They were in contention in the last round of reshuffle as well Malhotra tipped to become governor of Punjab.
(With inputs from agencies)