Government appoints new state governors

The Union government appointed four new governors, accommodating largely BJP leaders who did not contest 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The most significant among them was former Union Minister Arif Mohammed Khan, who has been appointed as Governor of Kerala. Khan, who hails from UP, will succeed former chief justice of India, P Sathasivam, who completed his five-year term in office.

Khan is most remembered for resigning from Rajiv Gandhi Government in 1986, protesting its stand on the Shah Bano case and the steps it had taken to overturn the Supreme Court order by bringing the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 . Recently, he was in the forefront of campaign for Narendra Modi government’s move to bring a law against the practice of triple talaq.

While many commentators view Khan’s gubernatorial assignment as reward for his work on the triple talaq law, party sources point out that even during his first term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was keen to have Khan in his government. Which is why, his appointment could indicate that BJP may have plans for the sensitive southern state.

Similarly, another former Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya, who used to be the face of Secunderabad Lok Sabha seat, has been appointed the governor of Himachal Pradesh. Dattartreya had also not contested in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Secunderabad is now represented by G Krishan Reddy, who is now a minister of state attached to the home ministry. Incumbent Himachal Pradesh governor Kalraj Mishra has been moved to Rajasthan.

Another BJP leader from southern India to be elevated is Tamil Nadu BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan. Though under her leadership, the party drew a blank in the state in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, BJP sources feel that her elevation is good news for the state unit of the BJP as there is a lot of scope for improvement in the southern region of the country.

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