Six new governors, including former SC judge for seven states

Justice Nazeer, a former SC judge, was appointed the Governor of AP. Biswa Bhusan Harichandan, has been transferred to Chhattisgarh

Update: 2023-02-12 19:00 GMT
Retired Supreme Court judge S. Abdul Nazeer. (DC File Image)

New Delhi: The Union government on Sunday appointed six new governors, including retired Supreme Court judge S. Abdul Nazeer who was part of the historic 2019 Ayodhya verdict, and four BJP leaders, besides carrying out a rejig of the gubernatorial posts in seven states.

Ramesh Bais, Governor of Jharkhand, was transferred to Maharashtra, replacing Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who has been in the line of the Opposition’s fire over his remarks on Chhatrapati Shivaji.

Koshyari had said last month that he had conveyed his desire to quit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He had said would like to spend the remainder of his life reading, writing, and in other activities.

A Rashtrapati Bhavan communiqué said President Droupadi Murmu had accepted the resignations of Koshyari and R.K. Mathur as the Governor of Maharashtra and the Lieutenant-Governor of Ladakh respectively.

Koshyari, 80, took charge as Maharashtra Governor in September 2019 at a time of political turmoil as the Shiv Sena severed had its ties with the BJP. He had administered the oath of office to Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP as Chief Minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar as the Deputy Chief Minister in an early morning ceremony at Raj Bhavan, in a government which lasted only three days.

When the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi was in power, he had several run-ins with the government on a range of issues, including the appointment of 12 members to the Legislative Council from the gubernatorial quota, which he never approved. The MVA had accused him of acting in a partisan manner.

The latest controversy surrounding Koshyari was about his remarks on Chhatrapati Shivaji, whom he described as the “icon of olden times,” The remarks triggered protests from the Opposition parties, who had demanded that he be sacked.

It was not immediately known what reasons prompted Mathur’s resignation at Ladakh. He had been facing stiff opposition in Ladakh led by  education reformist Sonam Wangchuk in the three-year-old Union territory. The President appointed Arunachal Pradesh Governor Brig. B.D. Mishra (retd) in Mathur’s place.

Justice Nazeer, a former Supreme court judge, was appointed the Governor of Andhra Pradesh. The incumbent Governor, Biswa Bhusan Harichandan, has been transferred to Chhattisgarh.

Justice Nazeer, who retired from the Supreme Court on January 4, has been part of several path-breaking verdicts, including those on the politically-sensitive Ayodhya land dispute, instant “triple talaq” and the one that declared the “right to privacy” a fundamental right.

Elevated as an apex court judge on February 17, 2017, Justice Nazeer was part of several Constitution Benches that delivered judgments on issues ranging from the demonetisation of currency notes of `1,000 and `500 denominations in 2016 to the reservation for Marathas in admission and government jobs and the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression of high public functionaries.

The President has also appointed Lt. Gen. Kaiwalya Trivikram Parnaik (retd) as the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh.

Four BJP leaders, including two from Uttar Pradesh, were appointed as new Governors. Lakshman Prasad Acharya, C.P. Radhakrishnan, Shiv Pratap Shukla and Gulab Chand Kataria were appointed as Governors of Sikkim, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Assam respectively.

While Acharya is a member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council, Radhakrishnan is a two-time Lok Sabha member from Coimbatore.

Shukla is a former Union minister of state and Kataria is Leader of the Opposition in the Rajasthan Assembly. Kataria had served as home minister in the previous Vasundhara Raje government.

Other than Bais, Mishra and Harichandan, the other transfers included the shifting of Anusuiya Uikye from Chhattisgarh to Manipur, La Ganesan from Manipur to Nagaland, Phagu Chauhan from Bihar to Meghalaya and Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar from Himachal Pradesh to Bihar.

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