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New quartet of governors

- Kerala Raj Bhavan vacant with Sheila resignation
Kalyan Singh
C Vidyasagar Rao
Mridula Sinha
Vajubhai Vala

New Delhi, Aug. 26: Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh was among four BJP leaders named governors today, the appointments coming amid Sheila Dikshit’s resignation from the post in Kerala.

Kalyan, who will take charge in Rajasthan, was named alongside BJP colleagues Vajubhai Vala, C. Vidyasagar Rao and Mridula Sinha, according to the office of President Pranab Mukherjee who made the appointments. Vala will be the governor of Karnataka, Rao of Maharashtra and Sinha of Goa.

The recommendations were forwarded to the President by the ministry of home affairs, based on names sent late yesterday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office, sources said.

Vala was once Gujarat Assembly Speaker and state finance minister. Rao was a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government while Sinha is a former BJP Mahila Morcha leader and a noted Hindi poet.

Other BJP leaders like Lalji Tandon or Vijay Malhotra, whose names were also doing the rounds, have not been accommodated in this round of selections.

But attention was today riveted on Dikshit, who is learnt to have resigned yesterday but sought time till September 4 for packing.

“I did what my heart said I should do,” Dikshit told reporters today. She is understood to have spoken to Congress president Sonia Gandhi before submitting the hand-written resignation to President Mukherjee.

Dikshit is the seventh governor to leave prematurely. The others are B.L. Joshi in Uttar Pradesh, M.K. Narayanan in Bengal and Bharat Wanchoo in Goa, Ashwani Kumar in Nagaland and Shekhar Dutt in Chhattisgarh.

Virendra Kataria was sacked as governor of Puducherry and Kamla Beniwal as governor of Mizoram.

Margaret Alva and H.R. Bhardwaj had completed their terms in Rajasthan and Karnataka respectively. The two positions were among those filled today.

Beniwal was first sent from Gujarat to Mizoram, as was Maharashtra’s K. Sankaranarayanan, who refused and stepped down two days ago.

Sources said the transfers to Mizoram had led to resentment, with some state politicians complaining that the north-eastern state had turned into a “dumping ground” for governors.

Keeping the sentiment in mind, the sources said from now on, governors on their way out may not be transferred to the state.