Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday took to Twitter to respond to several reports over her appointment as Governor of Andhra Pradesh. Swaraj had been one of the top faces in the Narendra Modi-led central government’s first tenure from 2014-2019. However, she opted out of being in government citing her health. She had also refused to contest elections.
The clarification from Swaraj on her Andhra Pradesh role was issued after Union minister Harsh Vardhan took to Twitter to congratulate his party colleague for the new assignment. “Many congratulations to BJP’s veteran leader and my didi (elder sister), former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj for being appointed as Andhra Pradesh’s governor. People of the state will gain from your vast experience in all the areas,” Vardhan tweeted. The tweet was, however, removed by him after Swaraj’s clarification.
In her response, Swaraj said that news about her appointment as the Governor was not true. “The news about my appointment as Governor of Andhra Pradesh is not true,” she said.
The news about her Swaraj’s new job started doing the rounds after she called on Vice President Venkaiah Naidu who comes from Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore. “I called on the Vice President of India Shri Venkaiah Naidu ji on demitting office as Minister of External Affairs. This was enough for Twitter to appoint me as the Governor of Andhra Pradesh,” she clarified in another tweet.
Swaraj, 67, has been keeping unwell for the last few months. She didn’t contest the Lok Sabha elections. In the previous government, Swaraj had served as the Minister for External Affairs. She was among the most popular ministers and was known for her prompt responses to public grievances.
In the new Modi government, Swaraj was not given any role, triggering talks about a possible rift with the party leadership. However, Swaraj dispelled all doubts when she attended the swearing-in ceremony of the new government. During her tenure as the External Affairs Ministers, Swaraj had taken breaks from work for months because of a diabetes condition and later a kidney transplant.
ESL Narasimhan is currently serving as the Governor of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. A retired IPS officer, Narasimhan assumed the office of Governor of Andhra Pradesh in December 2009 and Governor of Telangana in June 2014. His term expired in December 2019.
Meanwhile, reports say that the government has decided to appoint new Governors for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana after Narasimhan vacates the office. Names of Swaraj, former Union minister Uma Bharti and Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi have been doing the rounds.