NewDelhi : The Governors of seven states reshuffled in a single day yesterday. Though this is not the first time that the governors of so many states changed in a single day, the timing of the reshuffle is indicating towards the NDA government’s poll preparations, opined political pundits.
President Ram Nath Kovind yesterday appointed governors of Bihar, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim, Meghalaya, and Tripura. Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik has been transferred to Jammu and Kashmir to replace NN Vohra, while senior BJP leader Lalji Tandon has been appointed the Governor of Bihar.
Kaptan Singh Solanki, the Governor of Haryana, has been transferred to Tripura, while Satyadev Narayan Arya will be the new Haryana governor. Tripura governor Tathagata Roy has been transferred to Meghalaya, and Ganga Prasad, the Governor of Meghalaya, has been transferred to Sikkim. Baby Rani Maurya will be the new Governor of Uttarakhand.
If we analyze the careers of these Governors, almost all are senior BJP leaders. While Lalji Tondon is a BJP stalwart and a close aide of Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, 72 yr old Satyapal Mallick was the former BJP Vice-President. Similalry, Tathagat Roy has been a pro-Hindutwa leader and known for his controversial statements. Similalry, Ganga Prasad, Kaptan Singh Solanki, Satyadev Narayan Arya and Baby Rani Maurya are trusted BJP leaders.
According to several experts, by appointing its trusted leaders in Key BJP ruled states, BJP is eying to strengthen its hold in these states before the 2019 elections. The party is also keen to send a message to the OBCs before the elections as it is clear from the appointment of little known Baby Rani Maurya as governor of Uttarakhand.
Meanwhile, the appointment of Satyapal Mallick as the Jammu & Kashmir Governor has been seen a radical change in the Government of India’s stand on appointment of governors in the militancy hit state. Malik, is the first politician to be appointed governor of the militancy-hit state. Before him, Karan Singh, the first governor of the state, was the only politician to be in the post, and that too since he belonged to the ruling family. But all other J&K Governors were either bureaucrats or retired Army officers.
By appointing Malik, the centre has made it clear that it does not want to take any chances with J&K before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Centre wanted a person who would understand the political compulsions and cooperate with the Centre. Malik’s predecessor NN Vohra was not convenient to the BJP government at the Centre anymore. Vohra expressed difference of opinion over the Centre’s handling of Article 35A on allowing land ownership rights to outsiders in the state.