Know the Governors in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur, ahead of counting on March 10

In case of hung Assembly or no party having majority on its own, responsibility will fall on governors in these states to call a political party to form the govt. Hence their role becomes important

Left Top: Banwarilal Purohit
Left Bottom: La. Ganesan
Centre: Lt. Gen Gurmit Singh
Right Top: Anandiben Patel
Right Bottom: PS Sreedharan Pillai,
Left Top: Banwarilal Purohit Left Bottom: La. Ganesan Centre: Lt. Gen Gurmit Singh Right Top: Anandiben Patel Right Bottom: PS Sreedharan Pillai,

NH Web Desk

The fate of five states – Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur- will be decided on March 10, 2022. In case of a hung Assembly or no party having a majority on its own, the responsibility will fall on the governors in these states to call a political party to form the government.

Let’s take a look at who these governors are:

Anandiben Patel, Governor of Uttar Pradesh

Before taking over as the current governor of UP in July 2019, she was the governor of Madhya Pradesh from January 2018 to July 2019. She was the first woman Chief Minister of Gurajat and she served from May 2014 to August 2016. She was the education minister under the then chief minister Narendra Modi in Gujarat and when he left for Delhi as Prime Minister, she was made the chief minister.

She was known as Modi’s confidante in Gujarat political circles. Whenever Modi was out of Gujarat, she was seen as the second-in-command. Her rivalry with Amit Shah is well-known and it is this rivalry that eventually led her to be replaced by Shah’s man Vijay Rupani as the chief minister in 2016.

If insiders are to be believed, Anandiben Patel was tasked with calming tempers between UP CM Ajay Bisht aka Yogi Adityanath and Modi in 2021 on the issue of certain appointments in the UP cabinet.

Banwarilal Purohit, Governor of Punjab

He has been the governor of Punjab since September 2021, prior to which Banwarilal Purohit was the governor of Tamil Nadu until September 2021. He began his career as a Maharashtra politician with Congress under the leadership of Indira Gandhi. Then he moved to BJP during the Ram temple movement in 1991. He was expelled from the Congress for having participated in a rally with the Karsevaks in Ayodhya in 1991.

Purohit returned to Congress in 1999 due to differences with Pramod Mahajan. He rejoined the BJP just before 2009. He hasn’t won an election after 1996 in Nagpur, which was his seat.

He courted controversy in April 2018 after he was accused of improper behaviour for reportedly patting a woman journalist on her cheek, apparently when asked tough questions about the sex-for-degrees case that had rocked the state.

According to reports, Purohit had maintained excellent relations with the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union minister Nitin Gadkari. He has had a strained relationship with DMK leader and now Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, who had demanded that Purohit be recalled. The governor’s office had complained against Tamil magazine Nakkheeran editor RR Gopal for an article it had published.

PS Sreedharan Pillai, Governor of Goa

Pillai was appointed the governor in July 2021, after serving as the Mizoram governor from November 2019 to July 2021. When he was appointed as Mizoram governor, Pillai was serving his second term as the Kerala state president of the party, after having had a term from 2003-06.

Amit Shah is known to have supported his candidature as BJP president in the state. Pillai was known as the moderate face of Hindutva in Kerala.

In an attempt to get the churches in Kerala on BJP’s side, Pillai had called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and resolve the dispute between the Jacobite and Orthodox church. But, all of them realised that neither of them could solve this decade-old dispute fraught with too many twists and turns. It also meant going against a Supreme Court ruling in favour of the Orthodox church.

La. Ganesan, Governor of Manipur

A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh pracharak since his younger days, Ganesan was appointed as Manipur governor in August 2021, replacing Najma Heptullah. In 2016, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh, following a vacancy caused by the appointment of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson Najma Heptulla as the Governor of Manipur.

The former Rajya Sabha MP once reportedly courted controversy while commenting on protests launched by locals against extraction of hydrocarbons at Neduvasal village in Tamil Nadu’s Pudukkottai district. He had said, “There is nothing wrong in sacrificing Tamil Nadu for the welfare of India”.

Lt. Gen Gurmit Singh, Governor of Uttarakhand

Singh, who retired as the Deputy Chief of the Indian Army, was sworn in as the Uttarakhand Governor in September 2021. He is considered an expert on China affairs. He retired in February 2016 after nearly four decades of military service

In December 2021, he had stated that he felt proud to witness a “change” in Indian politics where national security and national feelings are prioritised and hard decisions taken for the country. In 2014, he claimed that army was well prepared to take any security challenge in Kashmir including al-Qaeda.

With these governors currently in focus, it must be remembered that in 2017, the then governor of Manipur Najma Heptullah had called the BJP to form the government despite Congress securing 28 seats in the 60-member Assembly. BJP had won only 21 seats. This is despite the fact that the then outgoing Congress chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh had met her and staked the claim to form the government. Heptullah claimed BJP had the numbers to form the government.

In the same manner, in 2018, the then Goa Governor Mridula Sinha had called BJP leader Manohar Parrikar to form the government, even though the Congress had emerged as the single largest party in the elections.

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