Senior BJP leader from Rajasthan and former Member of Parliament V.P. Singh Badnore was on Monday sworn in as the Governor of Punjab. Badnore will also be the Administrator of the Union Territory of Chandigarh.Badnore, who took the oath in English, was sworn-in by Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice S.J. Vazifdar at Punjab Raj Bhawan here. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and other ministers and senior officers of Punjab government were present at the swearing-in ceremony.Poll-bound Punjab has got a regular Governor after a gap of 19 months.Coming from a royal background, Badnore, a four-time legislator from Rajasthan and former Irrigation Minister in that state, was first elected to the Lok Sabha from Bhilwara parliamentary constituency in 1999 and retained the seat in 2004. In 2010, Badnore was elected to the Rajya Sabha.Badnore took over the reins from Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, who was holding additional charge of Punjab after the last Governor Shivraj Patil's term ended in January 2015. The Narendra Modi government had not appointed a regular Governor for Punjab after Patil.
The central government, while announcing Badnore's name as Punjab Governor last week, had initiated a move to de-link the post of Chandigarh's administrator from the post of Punjab governor.However, owing to political pressure from the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance in Punjab, Badnore was named as the Administrator through fresh orders from the President.The Narendra Modi government had earlier decided to appoint Kerala BJP leader and former bureaucrat K.J. Alphons as the new Administrator of Chandigarh.If Alphons had been appointed Administrator, it would have ended a 32-year-old system of the Punjab Governor acting as the Ex-officio Administrator of the union territory of Chandigarh.
Punjab is gearing up for crucial assembly elections in February, 2017 with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) posing a challenge to the traditional Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance and the Congress.The Akali Dal-BJP alliance has been in power in the state since 2007.