Raj Bhavan changes bare party thrust
The government on Saturday named a new governor for Bengal as part of changes at several Raj Bhavans in a move seen as an attempt by the ruling BJP to put leaders in key states to consolidate the party’s position.
Jagdeep Dhankar, a senior Supreme Court advocate and former Congress leader from Rajasthan, replaces Keshari Nath Tripathi, whose term ends next week.
The government shifted two governors to Raj Bhavans elsewhere and named an Uttar Pradesh MLA as the governor of Bihar.
Dhankar, 68, a junior minister in the 1990-91 V.P. Singh government as a Janata Dal MP, later joined the Congress before switched to the BJP in 2003.
BJP leaders said the senior lawyer would help the party take on the Mamata Banerjee government in Bengal, now on the party’s radar after its recent surge in the Lok Sabha elections.
Uttar Pradesh MLA Phagu Chauhan has been named governor of Bihar, where he replaces former BJP stalwart Lalji Tandon. Political circles said the appointment of the backward caste leader was aimed at courting this segment in the state to neutralise the popularity of chief minister Nitish Kumar, who is also from a backward caste.
Relations between the BJP and ally Nitish’s JDU have of late strained over sharing ministerial berths. Nitish has also been publicly opposing the BJP’s stand on scrapping Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution that give special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Former Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel has been shifted from the Madhya Pradesh Raj Bhavan to Uttar Pradesh, where she replaces Ram Naik who is due to retire. Tandon, shifted from Bihar, replaces Patel in Bhopal.
Ramesh Bais, 71, a former MP from Chhattisgarh denied a ticket in 2019, has been named governor of Tripura. R.N. Ravi, former interlocutor on Naga talks, has been appointed governor of Nagaland.