Arif Mohammed Khan, who quit the former PM Rajiv Gandhi government in protest against the enactment of a law to nullify the Supreme Court verdict in the Shah Bano case, was appointed as Kerala Governor, along with three BJP leaders on Sunday.
Arif Mohammed Khan's speech in the Parliament in 1985 in the wake of the Shah Bano case judgment extending the Rajiv Gandhi government's initial support to it was much acclaimed. However, when the Rajiv Gandhi government did a U-turn under alleged pressure from Muslim clerics and brought a bill to nullify the Supreme Court order, he resigned from the ministry.
The Uttar Pradesh politician later joined the BJP but remained inactive since 2007. Recently, when the PM Modi led government brought a bill to criminalise the practice of instant triple talaq, Arif Mohammed Khan supported it.
In the Shah Bano case, the Supreme Court had delivered a judgment favouring maintenance given to an aggrieved divorced Muslim woman.
"The above appointments will take effect from the dates they assume charge of their respective offices," the Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said.
BJP leader and former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Bhagat Singh Koshyari, 77, has been appointed the Governor of Maharashtra, while BJP's Tamil Nadu chief Tamilisai Soundararajan, 58, moves to the Raj Bhavan in Telangana, according to a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique.
Former Union minister Kalraj Mishra, who was recently appointed the Governor of Himachal Pradesh, has been shifted to Rajasthan. Seventy-eight-year-old Mishra will succeed former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, who completed his five-year tenure as the Governor of Rajasthan. Former Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatraya, 72, has been appointed as the Governor of Himachal Pradesh, replacing Mishra.
Koshyari replaces Vidya Sagar Rao as the Maharashtra Governor, while Soundararajan will succeed ESL Narasimhan as the Telangana Governor. Sixty-eight-year-old Arif Mohammed Khan, who replaces former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam in Kerala Raj Bhavan, has been a vocal critic of the practice of instant triple talaq and calling for reforms in the Muslim personal laws for long.
(with PTI inputs)