Surprise: Governeros for 5 states announced, Kerala a big surprise

The chief of the BJP’s Tamil Nadu BJP, Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan and former Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya are on the list of five new Governors announced by President Ram Nath Kovind today.

Dr Soundararajan has been appointed the Governor of Telangana – having a separate Governor is a first for the country’s newest state. Bandaru Dattatreya has been put in charge of Himachal Pradesh, replacing Kalraj Mishra.
Besides the two, former union minister Arif Mohammad Khan has been appointed the Governor of Kerala and Bhagat Singh Koshyari as the Governor of Maharashtra.

Kalraj Mishra, who was the Governor of Himachal Pradesh, has been asked to replace Kalyan Singh in Rajasthan.

Tamilisai Soundararajan, 58. has been in charge of the BJP in a crucial southern state where it had practically zero presence, owing to the muscular Dravidian politics of the former Chief Ministers J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi. Their deaths have left a huge political vacuum where the BJP and new entrants like actor-politicians Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth are trying to carve out their niche.

In Telangana, the Governor’s post was under the dual charge of ESL Narasimhan, who was the Governor of Andhra Pradesh before its bifurcation. He recently demitted office.

Of the five states that got a new Governor, Maharashtra is the only one going for state elections later this year. Mr Koshyari replaces Vidya Sagar Rao, whose five-year term came to an end.

Veteran politician Arif Mohammad Khan had started his political career with the Congress, and had made the rounds of several political parties including Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party before joining the BJP. He is replacing P Sathasivam, the former chief justice of India whose five-year term came to an end.

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