The Narendra Modi government on Tuesday filled up four long-pending vacancies in Raj Bhavans across the country and shifted the governors of Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh but stopped short of taking a call on five others states including poll-bound Bihar.
Former West Bengal BJP chief Tathagata Roy was appointed governor of Tripura while Tamil Nadu BJP leader V Shanmuganathan was sent to Meghalaya.
Roy is the brother of Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy while Shanmuganathan – a former RSS pracharak – is an additional secretary at the BJP’s parliamentary party office in Delhi.
A communiqué from Rashtrapati Bhavan said Arunachal Pradesh governor Lt Gen Nirbhay Sharma was shifted to Mizoram, a state that has seen six governors since the NDA came to power last May.
The retired army officer has three more years left. He will be replaced by former Assam chief secretary JP Rajkhowa as the governor of Arunachal Pradesh.
Former Odisha minister Droupadi Murmu will be the new governor of Jharkhand, replacing Syed Ahmed, who has been shifted to Manipur.
The government had cleared these names after several rounds of meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Rajnath Singh. BJP chief Amit Shah was also in the loop.
The latest round of appointments, however, still leaves Bihar, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand without a full-time governor. Sources suggested it could take another 15-20 days to finalise the names of new Raj Bhavan occupants for these states.
The names of minority affairs minister Najma Heptulla, former finance minister Yashwant Sinha, former army chief VP Malik and a few others were also doing the rounds as probable candidates, but they failed to make it to the Tuesday list.
The NDA government’s appointment of governors has been riddled with controversy with a number of high-profile resignations and the Opposition alleging the BJP was deliberately pushing out Congress-era occupants of Raj Bhavans and humiliating them.