The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Governor shuffle speed-up to pacify Shinde

New Delhi, Oct. 30: Political developments in Maharashtra that saw Vilasrao Deshmukh pulling the rug from under Sushil Kumar Shinde's feet prompted the Centre to advance the first phase of the planned gubernatorial appointments. Shinde was appointed governor of Andhra Pradesh in place of Surjit Singh Barnala, who has been shifted to Tamil Nadu.

Sources suggest a move is also afoot to appoint Uttaranchal chief minister .D. Tiwari as governor of Maharashtra on incumbent Mohammed Fazal completing his tenure shortly. The government is already learnt to have short-listed a former Haryana director-general of police, Kalyan Rudra, for the Raj Bhavan in Nagaland where incumbent Shyamal Dutta is likely to be asked to move to Mizoram.

A Rashtrapati Bhavan communiqu' announcing Shinde's appointment was issued this afternoon, marking the end of a process started in the Union home ministry less than 24 hours earlier. Officials say it usually takes a few days to process files relating to gubernatorial appointments as this involves clearances from several quarters before it reaches Rashtrapati Bhavan for a notification.

In Shinde's case, bureaucrats at the home ministry were told last evening to work overtime to complete the formalities following fears that his ouster from the chief minister's chair that was believed to be his could send a wrong message to Dalits.

However, Shinde, 62, will have to wait till Deshmukh's swearing in ceremony on Monday before he moves ahead on his next assignment.

Barnala's appointment to the Chennai Raj Bhavan marks his return to the state more than a decade after he quit the gubernatorial post over differences with the Centre.

Sushil Kumar Shinde

Barnala, who had been appointed Tamil Nadu governor in 1990, had refused to send an adverse report on the law and order situation in the state to build a ground for dismissing the DMK government.

However, the governor's view was overruled by then Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar, who imposed President's Rule in the state on January 30, 1991, on the basis of intelligence reports that is alleged to have pointed to connivance of the DMK with some activities of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam in the state. M.K. Narayanan, who is now the special adviser to the Prime Minister, was then the head of the Intelligence Bureau.

President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has also accepted the resignations of the governors of Bihar and Punjab, M. Rama Jois and O.P. Verma ' both appointed by the National Democratic Alliance government ' who had quit in the last two days following the Centre's moves to ease them out.

A Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said Jharkhand governor Ved Marwah will discharge the functions of the Bihar governor while Haryana governor A.R. Kidwai will hold additional charge of Punjab and also the administrator of Chandigarh.

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