Chennai: Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, who had been holding additional charge of Tamil Nadu since last year, was today given a warm farewell by top representatives of the state government including Chief Minister K Palaniswami. Rao’s successor, Banwarilal Purohit, will be sworn in tomorrow at 9.30 am, the Raj Bhavan said. At a function held at the airport, Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam gave a warm send-off to Rao, presenting him with shawls and bouquets.
Rao’s year-long tenure was marked by a series of significant developments in Tamil Nadu, including the demise of chief minister J Jayalalithaa in December 2016 and the subsequent political churn that saw two chief ministers takeover within a period of two months. The Maharastra governor took charge in September 2016following the retirement of then-governor K Rosaiah, days ahead of the hospitalization of Jayalalithaa in the same month. His stint saw a split in the ruling AIADMK, following which Palaniswami took over. Later, the rebel faction headed by O Panneerselvam merged with that of Palaniswami.Panneerselvam was since made the deputy chief minister.
Following the August 22 revolt of 19 AIADMK MLAs owing allegiance to sidelined leader T T V Dhinakaran againstPalaniswami, the opposition, including DMK, made a beeline to the governor’s residence. They had repeatedly urged Rao to direct a floor test of the Palaniswami government, contending that “it had lost its majority.” Dhinakaran had also called on the governor with a plea to remove Palaniswami as Chief Minister. Yesterday, Rao had thanked the people of the state for their love, affection and warmth extended to him during his tenure.
He said that in the aftermath of Jayalalithaa’s demise, and during the protest for the cause of Jallikattu, “the people of Tamil Nadu had maintained peace and tranquility with great discipline.” Rao left for Hyderabad by a special flight. Purohit was recently appointed as governor of the state amid calls from various quarters for the presence of a full-time governor.