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Sheila Dikshit resigns: Modi government appoints four new governors


Appointed in March on the eve of Lok Sabha elections, Sheila Dikhsit, who has been facing pressure, quit the post as Kerala Governor after her meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister on Tuesday

New Delhi: Yet another UPA appointed Governor Sheila Dikshit resigned on Tuesday as the Narendra Modi government named former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh as the nominee for Rajasthan along with three others for Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa.

Appointed in March on the eve of Lok Sabha elections, Sheila Dikhsit, who has been facing pressure, quit the post as Kerala Governor after her meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister on Tuesday.

Continuing with the filling up of vacancies caused by the sacking, resignation or retirements of incumbents appointed during the previous regime, the Government on Tuesday picked 82-year-old Singh for Rajasthan, where Margaret Alva completed her tenure earlier this month.

Gujarat Speaker Vajubhai Vala was named for Karnataka where H R Bharadwaj had also completed his tenure recently.  Former Union Minister C Vidyasagar Rao will take the place of K Shankaranarayanan, who quit as Governor of Maharashtra on Sunday after he was shunted to Mizoram.  Sevnety-one-year-old Mridula Sinha, former president of BJP's Mahila Morcha, was appointed as Governor of Goa in place of B V Wanchoo who was among those asked to quit after the change of guard at the Centre. According to a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique, 82-year-old Kalyan Singh will take over in Jaipur in the vacancy caused by the retirement of Margaret Alva earlier this month.

A two-time chief minister, Singh was convicted for a day by the Supreme Court on October 24, 1994 for violating the commitment made to the Supreme Court on ensuring the safety and protection of the Babri Masjid. He went out of BJP on two occasions but returned to its fold.

Seventy-six-year-old Vala, who will take over in Bangalore, is an old trusted aide of Modi who served in his Government as finance minister before he was elected as speaker of Gujarat Vidhan Sabha in January last year.

Rao, who had served as Minister of State for Home in the Vajpayee government, hails from newly carved out Telengana state.

A lawyer by profession, 69-year-old Rao was elected to Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly three times and was the leader of Bharatiya Janata Party in the assembly.  Sinha, a noted Hindi writer, has authored a dozen books including "Ek thi rani aisi bhi", a book dedicated to Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia.

The Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said the appointments will take effect from the dates the incumbents assume charge of their respective offices.

On the Dikshit front, the President's Secretariat sent her resignation to the Union Home Ministry for necessary action.

"I have resigned, I did it yesterday and I don't want to comment further," Dikshit, a former Delhi Chief Minister,  said, adding that she will speak on the issue only after acceptance of the resignation.

With this, Dikshit becomes the eighth Governor to have resigned since the Narendra Modi government came to power on May 26.

Five UPA-appointed Governors—M K Narayanan (West Bengal), Ashwani Kumar (Nagaland), B L Joshi (UP), B V Wanchoo (Goa) and Shekhar Dutt (Chhattisgarh), have already resigned after being nudged by the NDA government.  V Purushothaman, the governor of Mizoram, had resigned after he was transferred to Nagaland in July this year while Masharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan tendered his resignation on August 24 after he was being shifted to Mizoram.

Dikshit, who served as Delhi chief minister from 1998 to 2013, was appointed Kerala governor in March just before the model code of conduct came into force for the Lok Sabha polls.  After the new Government assumed office, two governors including 87-year-old Kamla Beniwal, who had a running battle with a running battle with then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi when she was governor of the state, were sacked.

The other who was shown the door was Lt Governor of Puducherry Virendra Kataria, a former Congress leader.  While veteran Congress leader Jagannath Pahadia completed his tenure as governor of Haryana last month, Uttarakhand governor Aziz Qureshi has challenged Modi government's moves to ease him out of office, bringing the controversy over removal of UPA-appointed Governors under judicial lens.

The NDA government had earlier appointed six Governors - Ram Naik (Uttar Pradesh), Keshari Nath Tripathi (West Bengal), Om Prakash Kohli (Gujarat), Balram Ji Das Tandan (Chhattisgarh), Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya (Nagaland) and Kaptan Singh Solanki (Haryana).

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