President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed as Governor of Tamil Nadu Banwarlal Purohit(77), a veteran politician from Vidharba who over a period time has gone back and forth between Congress and BJP. He will take charge from Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Maharashtra Governor who has been holding additional charge of Tamil Nadu since the retirement of the last full-time Governor K Rosiah in August 2016.
Purohit, who was has been shifted from Assam and Meghalaya, will assume charge on Oct 6, Raj Bhavan sources have said.
Unlike Rao who has come from the BJP background, Purohit has been thrice elected as Member of Parliament from Nagpur, twice on Indian National Congress's ticket once as a BJP member.
Purohit represented Congress in the Maharashtra Assembly from 1979 to 1980 and again from 1984 to 1989. He was ousted from Congress when he took part in kar seva in Ayodhya in 1991, when he was still a member of the party. He joined the BJP and got elected in 1996.
Purohit left BJP in 1999 and returned to the Congress. He unsuccessfully contested for the Lok Sabha from Ramtek .He thereafter launched his own Vidarba Rajya Party and contested for the Lok Sabha from Nagpur. He again contested from Nagpur in 2009 on BJP ticket, but lost to the Congress yet again.
Purohit's appointment as a full-time Governor for Tamil Nadu comes as a time when politics is in a state of flux after the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalitha in December last year. Rao was hopping between Mumbai and Chennai during this critical period.
So volatile was the situation that Rao had to swear in two Chief Ministers--O Pannerselvam and Edappadi K Palanisami--in the last nine months and, what is more, usher in Edappadi as Chief Minister for a second time after the two faction scame together.
When 19 pro-Dinakaran MLAs withdrew support to the Gvernment, Rao not only refused to call the Assembly for a floor test, but also forwarded the rebels' letters to the Speaker, thus paving the way for their disqualification
The new Governor will have to take call on whether the Edappadi Palanisami enjoys majority support. The Madras High Court has already stayed any floor test till it takes a final decision on the validity of the disqualification of the rebels.
The new Governor will, therefore, have time to assess the situation.