77-year-old Banwarilal Purohit on Saturday was appointed as new governor of Tamil Nadu by President Ram Nath Kovind. It is the first time the state has got a full time governor after K Rosaiah’s retirement in 2016. Purohit will be replacing Ch Vidyasagar Rao who was shouldering the additional charge of Tamil Nadu along with Maharashtra.
Purohit is a seasoned political leader hailing from Vidharba region of Maharashtra. He has served as MP from Nagpur three times, twice as member of Indian National Congress, and once as member of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Purohit began his political journey with Congress and was elected to Maharashtra Assembly in 1979 and 1980. He was thrown out of Congress in 1991 when he took part in kar seva in Ayodhya. Purohit contested Lok Sabha election the same year on a BJP ticket, but lost to Congress candidate. In 1996, he was elected in Lok Sabha as BJP candidate. Purohit quit the party in 1999 to once again join hands with Congress.
In 2003, Banwarilal Purohit launched his own party Vidarbha Rajya Party and contested Lok Sabha elections from Nagpur. In 2009, Purohit contested elections on a BJP ticket, but was defeated by Congress’ Vilas Muttemwar.
Purohit was appointed as Governor of Assam by President Pranab Mukherjee in 2016. He had replaced Padmanabha Acharya, who had additional charge of Assam. He is currently serving as managing editor of English daily Hitavada. Purohit’s role as Tamil Nadu Governor will be crucial amidst political turmoil in Tamil Nadu due to AIADMK infighting following passing of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa.
In addition to Banwarilal Purohit’s appointment as Tamil Nadu Governor, President Ram Nath Kovind also announced names of new governors for the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Meghalaya on Saturday. The appointments will come into effect from the date the incumbents assume charge of the new posts.