Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Rajastan get new governors

The Narendra Modi government on Tuesday announced the appointment of new governors in Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Rajastan, whose names have been sent to the President for formal appointment.

C Vidyasagar Rao, a minister in the Vajpayee government, has been appointed governor of Maharashtra in place of K Sankaranarayanan, who resigned last week in protest against his transfer to Mizoram.

Mridula Sinha, noted writer and former president of BJP Mahila Moprcha, will take over as the new Goa governor. She will take up the post left vacant after B V Wanchoo resigned from the post in June, hours after being questioned as a witness by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper procurement scam.

Gujarat assembly speaker Vajubhai Vala will be the new governor of Karnataka, which has been lying vacant ever since H R Bhardwaj completed his tenure in June.

BJP veteran and former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Kalyan Singh has been appointed governor of Rajasthan. He will replace Margaret Alva who had retired as Rajasthan governor.

Meanwhile reports say Kerala governor Sheila Dikshit may be shunted out of the state after she met home minister Rajnath Singh and President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday.

During her 15-minute meeting with the home minister, Dikshit is understood to have discussed her continuation in the Thiruvananthapuram Raj Bhavan, sources said.

But details of the discussion are not known. "These are all rumours," she told reporters, after her meeting with the home minister, when asked whether she would resign as Kerala governor.

Dikshit is said to have refused to quit after the NDA government had allegedly nudged her to resign. There have been reports that suggested that the former Delhi chief minister may be transferred to a state in the North East.

Earlier, the NDA government had sacked Mizoram governor Kamla Beniwal, who had served in Gujarat earlier and had a running battle with Narendra Modi when he was the state's chief minister.

Virendra Kataria, a former Congress leader, was also sacked as Puducherry lieutenant governor last month.

Four other governors - M K Narayanan (West Bengal), Ashwani Kumar (Nagaland), B L Joshi (UP) and Shekhar Dutt (Chhattisgarh) - had put in their papers apparently under instructions from the centre sent through the union home secretary.

Veteran Congress leader Jagannath Pahadia completed his tenure as governor of Haryana last year.

Uttrakhand governor Aziz Qureshi has challenged Modi government's move to ease him out of office, bringing the controversy over removal of UPA-appointed governors under judicial scrutiny.

The NDA government has so far appointed six governors - Ram Naik (Uttar Pradesh), Keshari Nath Tripathi (West Bengal), Om Prakash Kohli (Gujarat), Balram Ji Das Tandan (Chhattisgarh), Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya (Nagaland) and Kaptan Singh Solanki (Haryana).