Wanchoo for Goa, Alva for Rajasthan

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  • Published 29.04.12

New Delhi, April 28: Uttarakhand governor Margaret Alva was today transferred to the politically more important state of Rajasthan and former Special Protection Group chief B.V. Wanchoo sent to the Goa Raj Bhavan.

A Rashtrapati Bhavan communiqué late tonight said Aziz Qureshi, a former minister of Madhya Pradesh, has been appointed governor of Uttarakhand. Andhra Pradesh governor E.S.L. Narasimhan and Maharashtra governor K. Sankaranarayanan have been given fresh terms.

There was speculation that R.K. Dhawan, onetime Indira Gandhi aide and former AICC general secretary, would be appointed governor of Kerala but it did not happen. The name of C.K. Jaffer Sharief had also done the rounds.

Alva was shifted to Rajasthan apparently because she was unhappy in the tiny Uttarakhand state. She is said to have wanted to return to active politics, but the Congress high command restricted her to the Raj Bhavan as there are too many leaders from Karnataka, her home state.

She is believed to have annoyed some senior Congress leaders by raising questions about the money factor in ticket distribution.

Alva has been a Union minister, Congress general secretary and a four-time Rajya Sabha MP. She was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1999.

The vacancy in the Rajasthan Raj Bhavan was created in April 2010 with the death of Prabha Rau, a former Maharashtra PCC chief. Rau had succeeded S.K. Singh who, too, died in office.

Punjab governor Shivraj Patil has been holding additional charge since Rau’s death.

Qureshi, the former Satna MP who succeeded Alva as Uttarakhand governor, has been a prominent Congress leader in Madhya Pradesh for four decades.

Qureshi, 72, is a lawyer-turned-social worker engaged in the uplift of the weaker sections and the physically challenged. He also promotes adult education.

The appointment of former SPG chief Wanchoo, 62, as Goa governor has filled the vacancy created by Shivinder Singh Sidhu’s retirement last August. Maharashtra governor Sankaranarayanan had been holding additional charge since.

A 1976-batch IPS officer of the Bengal cadre, Wanchoo was earlier a joint director in the Intelligence Bureau. He is said to have got the constitutional post because of his proximity to Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh.

In 2004, he was picked by Prime Minister Singh to head the SPG, which provides the highest class of security to the Prime Minister and Sonia and their families.