In the first set of gubernatorial appointments by the Narendra Modi government, five Bharatiya Janata Party veterans were on Monday named as new Governors of Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Gujarat and Nagaland.

While former Union Minister Ram Naik was appointed as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, the party’s senior Delhi leader Om Prakash Kohli, a former Rajya Sabha member, was appointed as the Gujarat Governor.

Mr. Naik was Petroleum Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government but was relegated to the background after he lost the parliamentary election from Mumbai North in 2004. Mr. Kohli, 78, was a former leader of the BJP’s student wing and later took over as president of the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA). He had also headed the party’s Delhi unit.

Veteran party leader from Punjab Balramji Dass Tandon was appointed the Governor of Chhattisgarh. Mr. Tandon, 87, is a founder member of the erstwhile Jan Sangh in 1951. A former MLA in Punjab, he was also the Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab in 1969.

According to a Rashtrapati Bhavan press communiqué, Keshari Nath Tripathi, a senior party leader from Uttar Pradesh and former Speaker of the State Assembly, will take over as the West Bengal Governor.

Padmanabha Acharya, a member of the BJP’s working group on the North-East and the co-convener of the Overseas Friends of BJP, was appointed as Nagaland Governor. President Pranab Mukherjee also asked Mr. Acharya to perform the duties as Tripura Governor until regular arrangements are made, the communiqué said.

The communiqué added that the new appointments would take effect from the dates the incumbents assume charge of their respective offices.

Vacancies in Raj Bhavans of Puducherry, Goa and Karnataka are yet to be filled. Another vacancy in Rajasthan will open up when Ms Margaret Alva completes her term next month.

Names of senior BJP leaders doing the rounds for gubernatorial appointments include Kailash Joshi from Madhya Pradesh and V. K. Malhotra from Delhi, who is said to be keen on remaining in a Raj Bhavan closer to Delhi, sources said, adding that the government was also considering names of some eminent persons from various fields like law and bureaucracy for gubernatorial appointments.