Vijayawada/ Bhubaneswar: The Rashtrapati Bhavan on Tuesday evening appointed advocate, writer, and senior BJP leader (Odisha) Biswa Bhusan Harichandan, 85, to replace E.S.L. Narasimhan, 73, as the Governor of Andhra Pradesh.
"I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving due recognition and respect to Odisha. Mr Modi said to me on Monday, “Apko Odisha choddna hoga. Ek do din ke andar badi responsibility dunga.” (You will have to leave Odisha soon to serve a bigger responsibility.) I was sure then that a major responsibility was coming my way,” Mr Harichandan said.
Mr Narasimhan was formally appointed in January 2010 after N.D. Tiwari’s resignation following a sex scandal at Raj Bhavan. Upon bifurcation, Mr Narasimhan became Governor of both the Telugu states.
Contrary to speculation about his replacement, the Centre let him continue in the position. Being a former intel chief, the Centre reportedly depended heavily on Mr Narasimhan for political intelligence.
A seasoned politician, Mr Harichandan was elected five times to the Odisha Assembly - twice on a Janata Dal ticket and thrice on a BJP ticket.
In the Biju Patnaik led Janata Dal government (1990 - 1995), Mr Harichandan held the food and civil supplies and cooperation portfolio.
In the Naveen Patnaik led BJD-BJP coalition government (2000 - 2009), he held the revenue, rural development law and industries portfolios.
Mr Harichandan was detained under MISA during the emergency in 1975. He joined the BJP and held the position of its Odisha BJP president from 1980 to 1988. He joined the Janata Party in 1988 and became its state vice-president but returned to the BJP on April 4, 1996.
In an interview with the Deccan Chronicle, Mr Harichandan said, “I’m happy to be appointed as the Governor of Andhra Pradesh. A large and beautiful state, Andhra Pradesh is our neighbour, and the people of both states have strong socio-economic ties. I will do my best to strengthen the relationship further."...