Senior BJP leader and former Union minister Ram Naik was on Monday appointed as governor of Uttar Pradesh and party’s veteran Delhi leader O P Kohli will move to Gujarat, in the first appointment of five governors by the Narendra Modi government.
According to a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique, Naik will take over in Uttar Pradesh after BL Joshi, perceived to be a close confidante of Gandhi family, was asked to tender his resignation. Joshi was the first Governor who tendered his resignation after the Modi Government came to power on June 17 this year.
A three-time Parliamentarian, 80-year-old Naik has the rare distinction of being the only Minister who completed five years as petroleum and natural gas minister in one government.
Hit by cancer, Naik was bedridden in 1994 but fought back resolutely and overcame the deadly disease. He had announced in 2013 that he would not be contesting the 2014 elections.
Meanwhile, the 78-year-old Kohli, who was a Rajya Sabha member from 1994 to 2000, takes over as governor in Gujarat after 87-year-old Kamla Beniwal was shifted to Mizoram by the Government for remainder of her term till November this year. A former Chief of BJP’s Delhi unit in 2009, Kohli has been associated with BJP since his student days and was President of its student wing — ABVP — and later became Chief of Delhi University Teacher Association.
According to the communique, Keshari Nath Tripathi, a former Uttar Pradesh Speaker will take over in West Bengal, a post which had fallen vacant after the resignation of M K Narayanan after he was nudged to resign.
A poet and author of books, Tripathi, who will turn 80 in November this year, was a five-time MLA and has written a few books like Commentary on The Representation of the People Act, 1951 and two poetic books in Hindi — Manonukriti, Aayu Pankh.
In his student life, he went to jail in connection with the Kashmir Movement. Balram Das Tandon, 87, founder member of Jan Sangh in 1951, was appointed Governor of Chhatisgarh after Shekhar Dutt tendered his resignation on June 18 after he too was sounded by the Union home ministry.