Former Union Minister Arif Mohammad Khan has been appointed the Governor of Kerala. He will replace P Sathasivam, former Chief Justice of India, who had joined the office in 2014. The appointment is part of the five new Governor appointments made by President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday.
Arif Mohammad Khan was a cabinet minister with the VP Singh Janata Dal government in 1989-1990. He is known for quitting the Indian National Congress in 1986, because of differences with Rajiv Gandhi's Congress government's stand on the Shah Bano case. He defended the Supreme Court judgment on the case, which favoured alimony for a divorced Muslim woman. He was also opposed to Triple Talaq, which has been recently made a cognizable offence by a Bill passed in Parliament. Arif is known for speaking for Islam reformation, writing books and giving lectures on the subject.
Arif began his career as a student leader, becoming a member of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly at the age of 26. He then joined the Indian National Congress and became a member of the Lok Sabha in 1980 and in 1984. Arif left the Congress in 1986 when there were some differences with the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. He went on to join the Janata Dal and was again elected an MP in 1989, and then a Cabinet Minister. He became a Union Minister but later left the Janata Dal and joined the Bahujan Samaj Party.
In 2004, he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party but quit three years later.
The other new appointments include that of Tamil Nadu BJP Chief Tamilisai Soundrarajan as the Telangana Governor, former Uttarakhand BJP chief Bhagat Singh as Governor of Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh Governor Kalraj Mishra as Rajasthan Governor, and former Secunderabad MP Bandaru Dattatraya as HP Governor.
Kerala‚Äôs outgoing Governor Sathasivam was Chief Justice of India from 2013 to 2014 and known for landmark judgments in cases like the Jessica Lal murder case, the 1993 Mumbai blasts case and so on.