Only 3 Governors non-netas, rest of Raj Bhavans have BJP Leaders
BJP has given preference to its party leaders from Uttar Pradesh for as many as six Governor posts, including J&K.
BJP has given preference to its party leaders from Uttar Pradesh for as many as six Governor posts, including J&K. Not surprising as the party is striving hard to retain as many of the 73 NDA seats out of the 80 in UP as it can. The six represent various castes and include party veterans, helping the party send across a message to their respective constituencies.
Former Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, who also hails from UP, was chosen as President of India. Satya Pal Malik is a Jat leader; his replacement in Bihar Raj Bhavan, Lalji Tandon, is a former UP minister. Kalyan Singh, former UP CM and a Lodh OBC leader, is Rajasthan Governor; Keshari Nath Tripathi, a Brahmin and former UP speaker, is West Bengal Governor; Brigadier (retired) BD Mishra, a war veteran, and Baby Rani Maurya, a Jatav leader, are all from Uttar Pradesh.
Satya Pal Malik had impressed the BJP, especially Amit Shah who was general secretary incharge of UP during the Lok Sabha polls, with his understanding and hold over politics in western UP. Though the names of former police officials and bureaucrats for the post of J&K governor were on the table, Malik was chosen also for optics as BJP and RSS wanted a politician to occupy the post.
The Kashmir issue has been dear to RSS since the times of Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, founder of BJP’s forerunner Bharatiya Jan Sangh. Malik’s appointment also means that the Sangh fountainhead will continue to have a big say in the Centre’s approach to the Valley. Since Malik, who has changed parties and joined BJP only in 2004, does not have deep roots in the party it would be easier for RSS to run the show from behind the curtains.
BJP has also chosen politicians as governors in the northeast. This serves its aim of increasing its political footprint in the region. The Narendra Modi government has made several overtures to the people of the region since 2014 when the NDA came to power. One union minister has visited the seven northeast states at least once every fortnight.
The Centre has appointed its own party leaders as governors there, except in the case of Arunachal Pradesh—which borders China— where Brigadier (retired) BD Mishra was sent in 2017. Mishra is a war veteran who participated in the 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars and was with IPKF in Sri Lanka.
ESL Narasimhan, Governor of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, is a retired IPS officer and former director of Intelligence Bureau who was appointed by the previous UPA-II government. He is the only appointee of the previous dispensation. He became AP governor in December 2009 and still continues in office.
Former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam is the third non-BJP leader among the governors. He was made Kerala Governor in August 2014. All the other governors are politicians with a saffron hue.