M A I N   N E W S

Shinde is Andhra Governor
Barnala goes to Tamil Nadu
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 30
In a swift move after he was displaced as Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Sushil Kumar Shinde was accommodated as the Governor of Andhra Pradesh even as President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam accepted the resignation of Punjab Governor O P Verma.

In a Press communique, Rashtrapati Bhavan said Haryana Governor A.R. Kidwai has been asked to discharge the functions of the Governor of Punjab as also the Administrator of the Union Territory of Chandigarh in addition to his own duties.

The Maratha lobby held sway in Maharashtra with Mr Shinde not being able to retain the post of Chief Minister of the Congress-NCP combine in Maharashtra. He has been given a gubernatorial assignment rather than being brought to the Centre in the Manmohan Singh government or the Congress organisation. Mr Shinde’s quick rehabilitation is being seen as a move by the Congress not to antagonise the Dalits who had favoured the party to a large extent both in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Maharashtra.

Observers say Mr Shinde’s appointment as Andhra Pradesh Governor was also an indication of likelihood of his being a Congress nominee in the the next vice-presidential election. Mr Shinde had unsuccessfully contested the last vice-presidential polls against Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. Incidentally, two former Andhra Pradesh Governors — Dr S. D. Sharma and Mr Krishan Kant — later became Vice- Presidents.

Even as Shinde moves to Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad, incumbent Governor of Andhra Pradesh Surjit Singh Barnala has been shifted to Tamil Nadu as the new Constitutional head of the state for the remainder of his term.

Mr Barnala’s movement to the Raj Bhavan in Chennai was necessitated by resignation of Mr P S Ramamohan Rao which has whipped up a controversy with AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa stoutly opposing the move on the ground that UPA government was playing the card of her rival and DMK chief M Karunanidhi.

Mr Kalam has also accepted the resignation of M Rama Jois as Governor of Bihar. The President appointed the Jharkhand Governor Ved Prakash Marwah to discharge the functions of the Governor of Bihar.

In a sudden development last night, the axe fell on Mr Verma as the Governor of Punjab. He met Mr Kalam and submitted his resignation which caught everyone by surprise in Punjab.

The UPA-government had earlier removed Mr Vishnu Kant Shastri, Babu Parmanand, Kailashpati Mishra and Kidar Nath Sahni as Governors of UP, Haryana, Gujarat and Goa over their “links” with the RSS.

Uttaranchal Chief Minister N D Tiwari is also being tipped to take up a gubernatorial assignment either in Maharashtra or Rajasthan soon. Former Haryana Chief Minister Bansi Lal is also likely to be made Governor.

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