National security adviser M.K. Narayanan has been appointed governor of West Bengal, former home minister Shivraj Patil of Punjab and former Puducherry chief minister M.O.H. Farooq of Jharkhand, according to a communiqué issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan late on Saturday night.
Former foreign secretaries Shyam Saran and Shiv Shankar Menon are believed to be in the race for the NSA’s post, which Narayanan held for five years.
On Saturday, the government appointed and reshuffled eight governors. Former defence secretary Shekhar Dutt was named governor of Naxalite-hit Chhattisgarh, replacing E.S.L. Narasimhan, a former Intelligence Bureau chief. Narasimhan, who held additional charge of Andhra Pradesh, will serve the rest of his term in Hyderabad.
Although Rajya Sabha member Mohsina Kidwai was being mentioned for a gubernatorial assignment in Jharkhand, the party decided against it as it did not want to lose a seat in the Upper House. Instead, it opted for Farooq, who takes over from K. Sankaranarayan in Ranchi. Sankaranarayan has been shifted to Maharashtra, where S.C. Jamir had completed his term.
Himachal Pradesh governor Prabha Rau has been moved to Rajasthan, while Urmila Singh, Congress leader from Madhya Pradesh, enters the Shimla Raj Bhavan.
The appointments of the governors will take effect from the dates they assume their duties, the communiqué said.
Late last year, there was talk of sending Narayanan to Punjab, but the state Congress reportedly wanted a political appointee. Patil’s appointment fulfils that. It also completes the rehabilitation of those removed after the 26\11 attacks like Vilasrao Deshmukh, now a Union minister, and R.R. Patil, who is back in the Maharashtra cabinet. The former home minister has also been given additional charge as administrator of the Union territory of Chandigarh.
Shivraj Patil, who had to resign as Union Home Minister in the wake of the Mumbai terror attack in November, 2008, has been appointed Governor of Punjab and given the additional charge as Administrator of the union territory of Chandigarh, a communiqué issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan late on Saturday night said.
Jharkhand Governor K Sankarnarayanan was shifted to Maharashtra to replace former Nagaland chief minister S C
Jamir and senior Congress leader M O H Farook will be the new Governor of Jharkhand.
Farook was a former Chief Minister of Pondicherry and a union minister in the government of P V Narasimha Rao.
Sankaranarayanan will serve the remainder of his term in Maharashtra, the communiqué said.