Maharashtra is one of 12 states to get a new governor, with President Droupadi Murmu making a key constitutional appointment this morning. The president also appointed a new deputy governor of the Union Territory of Ladakh.
Former Jharkhand governor Ramesh Bais will succeed Bhagat Singh Koshyari as Maharashtra governor. Koshyari, 80, told Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month that he wanted to resign from the top job. “Governor Koshyari expressed his desire to spend the rest of his life reading, writing and other leisure activities,” read a statement issued by Raj Bhavan.
Mr Koshyari, an RSS veteran who served as chief minister and MP in both houses of parliament, was appointed governor in 2019. During his tenure, he regularly grabbed headlines for his repeated clashes with Uddhav Thackeray’s government and controversial policy statements.
The fact that shortly after his appointment he officiated at Devendra Fadnavis’ early morning swearing-in ceremony even before Mr Thackeray and Shiv Sena’s Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition, Congress and NCP could propose to form a government, sparked a row.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led government and Raj Bhavan have since clashed over several issues, including reopening temples after the Covid pandemic, denying Mr Koshyari a state plane to visit Dehradun and calling a special parliament after the rape and murder of a woman Meeting. Woman in Sakinaka, Mumbai.
In November last year, Mr Koshyari sparked a debate when he called Chhattrapati Shivaji an “idol of the old days”. Top BJP leaders had to join the firefight as political opposition accused the governor-general of insulting the Maratha leader.
Earlier, he sparked controversy by saying that if Gujaratis and Rajasthanis left, there would be no money left in Maharashtra.
Apart from Maharashtra, the president appointed governors of 11 states and a deputy governor of Ladakh.
In Ladakh, the union territory carved off from the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019, Brigadier (Dr) BD Mishra (Retd) will take over the top post after Rashtrapati Bhavan accepted the resignation of incumbent Radha Krishna Mathur. Mr Mishra had earlier served as governor of Arunachal Pradesh, a strategic region as important as Ladakh.
The appointment comes against a backdrop of growing demand for statehood and special status for Ladakh. Leaders in the region have raised environmental concerns over the massive infrastructure build-out and demanded autonomy they say will help them grow in the way they want.
Lieutenant General (Retired) Kaiwalya Trivikram Parnaik to be Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, Lakshman Prasad Acharya to be Governor of Sikkim, CP Radhakrishnan to be Governor of Jharkhand, Shiv Pratap Shukla to be Governor of Himachal Pradesh . Shiv Pratap Shukla is a former Union minister and influential Brahmin leader from Uttar Pradesh.
In addition, Gulab Chand Kataria was appointed Governor of Assam, former Supreme Court Judge Justice S Abdul Nazeer was appointed Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Biswa Bhusan Harichandan was appointed Governor of Chhattisgarh, Anusuiya Uikye was appointed Governor of Man Governor of Nippur. Mr Harichandan and Ms Uikye had earlier held key positions in Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh respectively.
Mr. Kataria’s appointment is politically significant. An incumbent MLA with strong RSS links, he is a leading contender for the post of former chief minister in this year’s Rajasthan polls. His appointment could be seen as a deliberate move to remove him from the big game.
Another key appointment is Justice Nazeer, one of five constitutional judges who delivered a unanimous judgment in the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi case in 2019.
Manipur Governor La Ganesan is now Nagaland Governor, Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan is now taking over the top job in Meghalaya and current Himachal Pradesh Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar was appointed Bihar Governor .