New Delhi: The government is planning to appoint new Governors in at least six states in the next 15-20 days, with Bihar, Punjab and Assam likely among these.
"We are planning to appoint 6-7 new Governors in the next 15-20 days," Home Minister Rajnath Singh told PTI.
There are vacancies in Governors' posts in Bihar, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura. While Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil will retire on January 21, Himachal Pradesh Governor Urmila Singh will complete her five-year tenure on January 24.
West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi is holding additional charge of Bihar and Meghalaya, while Nagaland Governor P B Acharya holds additional charge of Assam and Tripura. Also, Uttarakhand Governor K K Paul is holding additional charge of Manipur.
Governor of Tamil Nadu, K Rosaiah, and his Odisha counterpart, S C Jamir, both retire in the next few months and are among the few Governors who were appointed by the previous UPA government and continue to hold office after the NDA dispensation came to power.
Aziz Qureshi, who had moved Supreme Court objecting to Union Home Secretary's nudging Governors to quit office, was shifted to Mizoram Raj Bhavan from Uttarakhand early this month.
A controversy erupted a few weeks after the Narendra Modi government took charge when Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami called a number of Governors and conveyed to them the new government's desire that they relinquish office.
UPA-appointed Governors Sheila Dikshit (Kerala), M K Narayanan (West Bengal), Ashwani Kumar (Nagaland), B L Joshi (UP), B V Wanchoo (Goa), Shekhar Dutt (Chhattisgarh) and V K Duggal (Manipur) had to resign after the NDA government came to power.
V Purushothaman, Governor of Mizoram, had resigned after he was transferred to Nagaland, while Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan tendered his resignation as he was being shifted to Mizoram.
Kamla Beniwal, who had a running battle with Narendra Modi when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister and she the Governor of the state, was sacked after being transferred to Mizoram. Among those shown the door was also the Lt Governor of Puducherry, Virendra Kataria, a former Congress leader.
The NDA government has so far appointed Governors in states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Haryana, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Nagaland and Goa.