Kamla Beniwal, 83, a veteran Congress leader from Rajasthan — who was appointed as the governor of Tripura in October 2009 — has been designated as the governor of Gujarat.
She will take over from SC Jamir, the governor of Maharashtra, who had been given the additional charge of Gujarat after the death of the state’s governor-designate, Devendra Nath Dwivedi. He was 74 at the time of his demise. As for Beniwal — who has served as a minister in a number of Congress governments in Rajasthan — she will be the first woman governor of Gujarat in nearly 30 years. Sharda Mukerjee served as the state’s first woman governor, from 1978 to 1983.
Beniwal herself has several firsts to her name. She was Rajasthan’s first woman minister, at only 27. From 1954, in a ministerial career spanning 50 years, she has held a range of critical portfolios, including home and revenue. She was also the first woman governor of any North East state. In Gujarat, however, few senior Congress leaders know of Beniwal.
She is expected to take charge of Gujarat within a week.
Beniwal’s place in Tripura shall be taken by DY Patil, an educationist from Maharashtra. The announcement of the new appointments were made on Saturday by the Rashtrapati Bhawan, which also said that Janaki Ballabh Patnaik, 82, would be the next governor of Assam.