The Narendra Modi government has finalised the names of at least five new governors, including former Union minister Ram Naik who is headed for Uttar Pradesh, sources told HT.
“Four other BJP veterans — Kailash Joshi from Madhya Pradesh, VK Malhotra from Delhi, Keshri Nath Tripathi from UP and Balramji Das Tandon from Punjab — are also likely to get gubernatorial assignments,” a source said.
Former UP assembly speaker Keshri Nath Tripathi will in all likelihood fill the vacancy in West Bengal left by MK Narayanan’s resignation, the source added.
“The transfer of at least three present governors — Shivraj Patil (Punjab), K Sankaranarayanan (Maharashtra) and Sheila Dikshit (Kerala) — is also on the cards,” the source said. Dikshit, who has reportedly refused to resign, had met the PM on Thursday.
A home ministry official said a Rashtrapati Bhavan notification with regard to the new governor appointments — the NDA’s government’s first — is expected by Sunday.
The government has to fill at least eight vacancies — in UP, Karnataka, Tripura, Goa, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Nagaland and West Bengal — arising from the retirement or resignation of incumbent governors. Six of them — BL Joshi (UP), Shekhar Dutt (Chhattisgarh), Narayanan, BV Wanchoo (Goa), V Purshothaman (Mizoram) and Ashwini Kumar (Nagaland) — resigned after phone calls from Union home secretary Anil Goswami or following a transfer order.
The terms of the other two, Karnataka’s HR Bhardwaj and Tripura’s Devanand Konwar, ended last month.
Besides, the President had late Friday removed Puducherry lieutenant governor Virendra Kataria and given his Andaman and Nicobar counterpart Lt Gen AK Singh additional charge till a regular appointment is made.