THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ramkrishnan Suryabhan Gavai, now Governor of Bihar, was on Thursday named Governor of Kerala. The incumbent here, R.L. Bhatia, will now be the Governor of Bihar, a Rashtrapati Bhavan statement in New Delhi said.
Mr. Gavai, 78, is a veteran from Darapur village at Amravati in Maharashtra and has an agricultural background. He graduated from Nagpur University.
He has had a Republican Party of India background and has been noted for expounding the Dalit cause consistently. He is the author of several books. A keen enthusiast of sporting events such as wrestling, swimming and athletics, he was associated with the Western India Football Association, Mumbai.
He was a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Council from 1964 to 1994, its Deputy Chairman from 1968 to 1978, and Chairman from 1978 to 1984. He was Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council from 1986 to 1988. He was elected to the 12th Lok Sabha in 1998. He assumed office as Governor of Bihar in June 2006.
He has received the National Integration awards for peace and harmony and the Kusta Mitra Award. Mr. Gavai has travelled widely and is a known social activist.
Mr. Gavai is the 15th Governor of the State. B. Ramakrishna Rao was the first Governor of modern Kerala. He was succeeded by V.V. Giri who later became the President of the country. Bhagwan Sahay, V. Viswanathan, N.N. Wanchoo, Jyothi Venkatachelam, P. Ramachandran, Ram Dulari Sinha, B. Rachaiah, P. Shivsankar, Khurshed Alam Khan, Sukhdev Singh Kang and Sikander Bakht were the other Governors.
It was from T.N. Chathurvedi who was given additional charge of Kerala Governor following the demise of Sikander Bhakt that Mr. Bhatia took over charge.