Ram Nath Kovind appoints 7 new governors: From socialist Satya Pal Malik to ex-Vajpayee aide Lalji Tandon; all you need to know

President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday appointed governors for seven states — Bihar, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim, Meghalaya, and Tripura. Governor Satya Pal Malik has been transferred from Bihar to Jammu and Kashmir to replace NN Vohra, while senior BJP leader Lalji Tandon has been appointed the Governor of Bihar, replacing Malik.

Kaptan Singh Solanki, the Governor of Haryana, has been transferred to Tripura, while Satyadev Narayan Arya will be the new Haryana governor.

File image of Satya Pal Malik. Image courtesy: ANI/Twitter

File image of Satya Pal Malik. Image courtesy: ANI/Twitter

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.

Here are brief profiles of the seven newly-appointed governors:

Satya Pal Malik - Jammu & Kashmir

Malik will be the first career politician to be appointed to the position in the last 51 years, indicating a change in the strategy of the centre which has so far relied on former bureaucrats to run show in the troubled state. The 72-year-old Malik has been associated with almost all political hues, starting as a socialist student leader to the vice president of the BJP, before being appointed as the Bihar governor last year.

He will be the first career politician to be appointed as the governor of Jammu and Kashmir in 51 years after Karan Singh, whose term had ended in 1967. Since 1967, the post has been occupied only by retired civil servants, diplomats, police officers and Army generals.

His appointment may also been seen in the light of the changing political scenario with talks doing rounds about disgruntled elements in the PDP joining hands with the BJP.

Inspired by Ram Manohar Lohia, Malik started his political career as a student leader in Meerut University and became MLA of Charan Singh's Bhartiya Kranti Dal from Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh in 1974. A socialist, Malik served as a member of Rajya Sabha for the party from 1980 till 1984 when he joined Congress. But resigned three years later in the backdrop of the Bofors scam. He switched to the V P Singh-led Janta Dal in 1988 and became an MP from Aligarh on its ticket in 1989.

In 2004, Malik joined the BJP and unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha elections, losing to former prime minister Charan Singh's son Ajit Singh. Before taking oath as Bihar governor on 4 October, 2017, he was in-charge of the BJP's Kisan Morcha. He was the Union minister of state, parliamentary affairs and tourism from 21 April, 1990 to 10 November, 1990.


Tathagata Roy - Meghalaya

Known for his pro-Hindutva views and some extremely controversial statements, Roy was BJP's West Bengal unit president from 2002 to 2006 and had twice unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha elections on party ticket.

Before the beginning of his political career in 1990, Roy was part of the Calcutta Metro railway project and had designed the Calcutta Metro, according to The Week.

The article also said that after the 2002 Gujarat riots, Roy "was the first in the BJP to come in support of Modi".

In June 2017, Roy had tweeted about how Syama Prasad Mukherjee, who had founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, had said in his diary that "the Hindu-Muslim problem won't be solved without a civil war".

In January 2016, Roy had suggested that the bodies of the terrorists killed in the Pathankot attack be wrapped in pigskin. "I seriously suggest Russian treatment to terrorists' carcasses. Wrap them in pigskin,bury them face down in pig excreta. No chance of Houris," he had said on Twitter.

In November 2015, Roy — in an interview to The Economic Times — had said, "People have the right to eat what they want but the scales would be even when Muslims come out and have pork in the open. And that day, we can really call it war against intolerance."

In April 2015, Roy had said that if Hindus of West Bengal did not reject secularism and polarise, they would be "annihilated". In March that year, Roy had painted the 2002 Gujarat riots as positive action.

And back in August 2014, Roy had congratulated UP BJP for bringing up the infamous 'Love Jihad' issue and had even suggested that the issue be taken up in West Bengal.

Lalji Tandon - Bihar

A BJP stalwart from Uttar Pradesh and a close aide of late former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Tandon has been crucial for BJP in Lucknow, as Ratan Mani Lal explains in this Firstpost article.

Tandon has been a member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council for two terms (1978-84). He has also been an MLA from Lucknow West for three terms from 1996 to 2009.

On 12 April, 2004, a stampede took place in Lucknow when hundreds of women gathered at a market to collect free saris being distributed. The programme was organised to celebrate Tandon's birthday. In 2007, Tandon was given a clean chit in the sari stampede case, News18 had reported.


Ganga Prasad - Sikkim

Prasad was a member of the legislative council in Bihar for 18 years and a former leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly.

He was a businessman by profession but started his political career as a Jan Sangh member in 1967 and held various organisational posts in it as well as in BJP.

During his tenure as Meghalaya governor, Prasad returned the controversial Khasi Hills Autonomous District (Khasi Social Custom of Lineage) (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018, according to The New Indian Express.

Kaptan Singh Solanki -Tripura

A former Rajya Sabha member, Solanki was appointed the Governor of Haryana in 2014.

Solanki was elected to the Rajya Sabha in August 2009.

Satyadev Narayan Arya - Haryana

73-year-old Arya is an eight-term MLA from Bihar. He was a minister in the 2010 BJP-JDU government in the state.

Baby Rani Maurya - Uttarakhand

The 61-year-old Maurya is a BJP leader from Agra. DNA reports that Maurya had also previously held the post of Agra mayor.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Aug 22, 2018 07:52:15 IST

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