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Malik gets thumbs up as Bihar Governor, Ganga elevation causes heartburn

“This will usher in a golden era in centre-state relationship,” said JD (U) spokesman KC Tyagi, highlighting the new Governor’s socialist background and his working association with chief minister Nitish Kumar.

india Updated: Oct 01, 2017 20:11 IST
Anil Kumar
Anil Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
New Bihar Governor,Satya Pal Malik,KC Tyagi
Satya Pal Malik, newly appointed Governor of Bihar. (HT file photo)

The appointment of BJP national vice president Satya Pal Malik as the new Governor of Bihar has been welcomed by the JD (U) and the BJP, both partners in the NDA government that is in office in the state.

But the elevation of Bihar BJP leader and former MLC Ganga Prasad as Governor of Meghalaya, has left another NDA ally, the Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular (HAM-S), sulking, besides causing some heartburn within the BJP.

But the JD (U), which has neither joined the union ministry nor pushed for the adjustment of any of its leader, is ‘more than happy with Malik’s appointment’. Or, so claimed a senior spokesperson of the party.

This will usher in a golden era in centre-state relationship,” said JD (U) spokesman KC Tyagi, while highlighting the Governor’s socialist background and his working association with chief minister Nitish Kumar.

Satya Pal Malik, 71, who has also served as Union minister of state for parliamentary affairs and tourism, will take over the charge of the Patna Raj Bhawan from West Bengal Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi, shortly.

The post of Bihar Governor had fallen vacant after Ram Nath Kovind was nominated as the BJP’s presidential candidate in June. At that time, Tripathi had taken additional charge as governor of Bihar, pending the appointment of Kovind’s successor.

Following his appointment by the President, Malik had told news agency ANI on Saturday, “I understand the responsibility given to me and will fulfil it whole-heartedly.”

A Rajya Sabha MP for two terms (1980-84 and 1984-89), Malik was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1989. Earlier, he had served Uttar Pradesh as an MLA 1974 to 1977.

Armed with B.SC and LLB degrees from Meerut University, Malik also holds a Diploma in Parliamentary Affairs and has also been the Chairman and member of many Parliamentary Committees.

On the other hand, the appointment of Ganga Prasad as Meghalaya Governor, comes as a reward for serving the BJP leadership over many decades. But it has dashed the hopes of former union minister and national vice president Dr CP Thakur for a gubernatorial assignment.

Prasad’s appointment has also effectively ruled out that an ‘honourable’ adjustment for HAM-S chief and former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, who was hoping to get a gubernatorial assignment but failed to make the list.

Manjhi, who was made CM in May 2014 when Nitish resigned following JD (U) defeat in the 2014 LS poll but refused to quit when Nitish wanted him to, had parted with his ‘mentor’ on a sour note when he failed to prove his majority in February 2015.

He was not comfortable with chief minister Nitish Kumar’s re-entry in NDA fold in August but tried to cosy up to him in the hope his son would be accommodated in the Nitish ministry. When that didn’t happen, Manjhi had set his sights on governorship.

However, HAM sources tried to play down the whole issue. “Our leader was never eager for Governorship and had turned down overtures from senior NDA leaders. He wants to work for the uplift of dalits in society and will be more than willing to accept any assignment that will help in making a direct contribution,” said Amarendra Kumar Tripathi, media in-charge, HAM.

But with the BJP on a roll, insiders say that it will be able to iron out differences and take the whole party along with its allies, assigning roles that fit the larger electoral objective, as and when required.

Ganga Prasad was elected for the first-time as the member of Bihar Legislative Council (MLC) in 1994. He retained the position for 18 years, during which he also the leader of Opposition in the legislative council for five years. His son Sanjeev Chaurasia represents Digha assembly seat of the state capital.

First Published: Oct 01, 2017 20:11 IST