Governor is an old BJP hand

Vajubhai Vala was number two in Modi’s Gujarat Cabinet for almost a decade

Updated - May 16, 2018 04:10 pm IST

Published - May 15, 2018 10:55 pm IST - AHMEDABAD

Karnataka , Mangaluru : 22/04/2017 :  Governor Vajubhai Vala speaking after the foundation stone laid for Hazarat Sayyed Madani Banath College building at Ullal, the programme was organised by the Sayyed Madani  Charitable Trust on the occasion of it's 35 th anniversary celebration, in Mangaluru on April 22, 2017. 
PHOTO : HS MANJUNATH

Karnataka , Mangaluru : 22/04/2017 : Governor Vajubhai Vala speaking after the foundation stone laid for Hazarat Sayyed Madani Banath College building at Ullal, the programme was organised by the Sayyed Madani Charitable Trust on the occasion of it's 35 th anniversary celebration, in Mangaluru on April 22, 2017. PHOTO : HS MANJUNATH

Known for his rustic humour and amiable nature, Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala is a disciplined BJP leader and was one of the tallest leaders of the party in Gujarat before he was sent on the gubernatorial assignment.

Mr. Vala was the longest serving Finance Minister of Gujarat apart from holding other crucial portfolios like revenue, energy and transport from 1998 to 2012.

He has also been Gujarat State BJP president twice and was Assembly Speaker before he was elevated as Governor of Karnataka in 2015. He vacated his Assembly seat Rajkot West when Prime Minister Narendra Modi contested his first election in 2001.

Mr. Vala had won seven elections from the seat, considered among the party’s safest.

When Mr. Modi was Chief Minister, Mr. Vala was Finance Minister and his number two for almost a decade.

His political journey began when he joined the RSS as a schoolboy in Rajkot. He later joined the BJP’s predecessor Jana Sangh and grew close to powerful leaders such as Chief Ministers Keshubhai Patel and Chimanbhai Shukla.

Before entering the Assembly in 1990, Mr. Vala was mayor of Rajkot in the 1980s. When the city faced a severe water crisis, Mr. Vala famously arranged to bring water to the city by train — a first then. He then became famous as the ‘paniwala mayor’ .

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