Sheila Dikshit resigns, Kalyan Singh named as Rajasthan governor
NEW DELHI: Sheila Dikshit has resigned as Kerala
Governor becoming the eighth governor appointed by the UPA regime to quit since
the NDA government came to power in May this year. However, the Narendra Modi
government named former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh as the
nominee for Rajasthan along with three others for Maharashtra, Karnataka and
Appointed in March on the eve of Lok Sabha elections,
Sheila Dikhsit, who has been facing pressure, quit the post after her meeting
with President Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister yesterday.
Continuing with the filling up of vacancies caused by
the sacking, resignation or retirements of incumbents appointed during the
previous regime, the Government on Tuesday picked 82-year-old Singh for
Rajasthan, where Margaret Alva completed her tenure earlier this month.
Gujarat Speaker Vajubhai Vala was named for Karnataka
where HR Bharadwaj had also completed his tenure recently. Former Union
Minister C Vidyasagar Rao will take the place of K Shankaranarayanan, who quit
as Governor of Maharashtra on Sunday after he was shunted to Mizoram.
71-year Mridula Sinha, former President of BJP’s
Mahila Morcha, was appointed as Governor of Goa in place of BV Wanchoo who was among
those asked to quit after the change of guard at the Centre.
According to a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique, Kalyan
Singh will take over in Jaipur. A two-time Chief Minister, Singh was convicted
for a day by the Supreme Court on October 24, 1994 for violating the commitment
made to the Supreme Court on ensuring the safety and protection of the Babri
Masjid. He went out of BJP on two occasions but returned to its fold.
76-year-old Vala, who will take over in Bangalore, is
an old trusted aide of Modi who served in his Government as Finance Minister
before he was elected as Speaker of Gujarat Vidhan Sabha in January last year.
Rao, who had served as Minister of State for Home in
the Vajpayee government, hails from newly carved out Telengana state. A lawyer
by profession, 69-year-old Rao was elected to Andhra Pradesh Legislative
Assembly three times and was the leader of Bharatiya Janata Party in the
Sinha, a noted Hindi writer, has authored a dozen
books including “Ek thi rani aisi bhi”, a book dedicated to Rajmata Vijayaraje
Scindia. The Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said the appointments will take
effect from the dates the incumbents assume charge of their respective offices.
On the Dikshit front, the President’s Secretariat sent
her resignation to the Union Home Ministry for necessary action.
Five UPA-appointed Governors — MK Narayanan (West
Bengal), Ashwani Kumar (Nagaland), BL Joshi (UP), BV Wanchoo (Goa) and Shekhar
Dutt (Chhattisgarh), have already resigned after being nudged by the NDA
V Purushothaman, the Governor of Mizoram, had resigned
after he was transferred to Nagaland in July this year while Masharashtra
Governor K Sankaranarayanan tendered his resignation on August 24 after he was
being shifted to Mizoram.
After the new Government assumed office, two Governors
including 87-year-old Kamla Beniwal, who had a running battle with a running
battle with then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi when she was governor of
the state, were sacked.
The other who was shown the door was Lt Governor of
Puducherry Virendra Kataria, a former Congress leader. While veteran Congress
leader Jagannath Pahadia completed his tenure as Governor of Haryana last
month, Uttarakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi has challenged Modi government’s moves
to ease him out of office, bringing the controversy over removal of
UPA-appointed Governors under judicial lens.
The NDA government had earlier appointed six Governors
– Ram Naik (Uttar Pradesh), Keshari Nath Tripathi (West Bengal), Om Prakash
Kohli (Gujarat), Balram Ji Das Tandan (Chhattisgarh), Padmanabha Balakrishna
Acharya (Nagaland) and Kaptan Singh Solanki (Haryana).
Dikshit said she will speak on the issue only after
she gets an official word on the acceptance of resignation. With this, Dikshit
becomes the eighth Governor to have resigned since the Narendra Modi government
came to power on May 26.
There were indications that Dikshit may be next in
line to be transferred to Mizoram, a state where Sankarnarayanan and Kamla
Beniwal were shunted out to.
Dikshit, who served as Delhi Chief Minister from 1998
to 2013, was appointed Kerala governor in March just before the model code of
conduct came into force for the Lok Sabha polls.