Two very assertive governors, one emotional, one clinical


A Raj Bhavan official says Narayanan is not one to limit himself to an elite intellectual club. "He might not be seen too often in public events, but he invites and meets a lot of people."

Gandhi was a governor who would practice "Gandhigiri", the official says. He maintained a daily schedule of self-imposed power cuts in Raj Bhavan to show solidarity with the masses suffering under load-shedding. He set an example by installing a rain-harvesting project to show how it could take care of Raj Bhavan's water requirements. On a couple of occasions, he travelled in public transport, including a tram, without attendants and guards, "to listen to voices".

"Gandhi was sensitive, articulate and intellectually endowed. Narayanan is competent on other counts, such as intelligence and building information-gathering networks. He has an unmatched, decisive competence," says Debabrata Bandopadhyay, a former IAS officer, leader of a civil society forum, and now a Trinamool MP.

Md Selim, former CPM MP, says he has known Gandhi more closely than Narayanan, whom he remembers from his MP days as NSA to the PM, and whom he now finds "very professional" as the governor. "Every governor is unique," Selim says. "Gandhi has been an IAS officer with a checquered career, Narayanan an IPS officer with a long experience. Gandhi could have been in many roles other than a governor ó an intellectual, a writer, a professor, a researcher or even a politician. Narayanan looks cut out for an administrator."

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