Chennai: Banwarilal Purohit was sworn in as the 25th governor of Tamil Nadu on Friday by Madras high court chief justice Indira Banerjee at Raj Bhavan in Chennai.
The appointment of Purohit, the first full-time governor of the state since the retirement of K. Rosaiah in August 2016, comes amid the ongoing political chaos in Tamil Nadu.
After taking oath, the new governor assured that all his decisions would be apolitical and he would abide by the Constitution of India.
Chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, his cabinet colleagues and opposition leader and DMK working president M.K. Stalin, were among those present at the ceremony.
Maharashtra governor C. Vidyasagar Rao, who had been holding additional charge of Tamil Nadu since last year, had been in the midst of some significant political developments in the state after the demise of former chief minister J. Jayalalithaa in December last year. His actions had come under criticism from all quarters. The main opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) had claimed that Rao failed to uphold his “constitutional obligations and moral responsibility” by not ordering a floor test after 18 MLAs, now disqualified, had expressed lack of confidence in the chief minister and owed allegiance to sidelined leader T.T.V. Dhinakaran.
Rao, who took additional charge as governor of Tamil Nadu days ahead of Jayalalithaa’s hospitalization in September 2016, had administered the oath of office to two chief ministers—O. Panneerselvam and Palaniswami. He also saw a split in the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), and ordered a floor test in February this year.
On Monday, opposition leader Stalin said that since the new governor was fully aware of the present political situation in the southern state, he was confident that governor Purohit will “take appropriate action” on its plea for a floor test of the ruling AIADMK government.
DMK had approached the court and had sought the court to direct the governor to order a floor test to prove the majority of the Palaniswami government “after having lost confidence” in Rao.
Purohit who was appointed as the governor of Assam in August last year has been thrice elected as a member of Parliament from Nagpur, twice as the Indian National Congress member and once as a BJP member.