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The new governors sweepstakes.

MORE on governors. With Gopal Gandhi packing up at the end of his tenure and leaving the Kolkata Raj Bhavan without even waiting for the formal appointment of his successor and N. D. Tiwari's term in Hyderabad brought to a premature climax by a spy cam presumably hidden in a masseuse's bosom, the Centre is fast- tracking the process of selection of worthies for various Raj Bhavans. ML Fotedar, the Family loyalist was approached, but he has reportedly declined the offer.

I assume he likes active politics more than being caged in a Raj Bhawan. The AICC general secretary Mohsina Kidwai, 66, who retires from Rajya Sabha in July, is a frontrunner to succeed Gandhi in Kolkata while the 65- year old Ronen Sen, India's ambassador in United States until last year, is tipped to become Rajasthan governor. Sen is a former IFS officer who was considered among the most powerful bureaucrats in the PMO during the Rajiv Gandhi era though he was just a joint secretary then. He has also been ambassador to Russia and Germany and our high commissioner in London.

Other names being considered include Arjun Singh. The 79 year old is still smarting from his exclusion from the UPA II cabinet and has two more years left of his term in the Rajya Sabha. His mischief potential as a rebel is enormous and a move to the Chennai Raj Bhavan will be reward for not realising his potential. Santosh Mohan Deb whose dream run of eight consecutive Lok Sabha victories was brought to an end last May is the likely replacement for S. F. Rodrigues whose tenure as Punjab governor has come to an end. And then there is Shivraj Patil.

He was the Union home minister who fiddled when Bangalore, Jaipur, Hyderabad and so many other places burned and hundreds died.

He was finally shown the door after 26/ 11 but I gather that the gates of one of the Raj Bhavans will be thrown open for him.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Jan 4, 2010
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