KOLKATA: Bihar Governor D.Y. Patil was Friday sworn in as acting governor of West Bengal in place of M.K. Narayanan who relinquished office and left the city during the day.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and several members of her cabinet were present at the Raj Bhavan when Justice A.K. Banerjee, the seniormost judge of the Calcutta High Court, administered the oath of office to Patil, who arrived in the city in the afternoon.
Some diplomats, senior police and administrative officials, assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee and Leader of Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra were among those present on the occasion.
The chief minister welcomed Patil by handing over a bouquet.
The brief ceremony ended with a tea party.
Narayanan, who resigned earlier this week, relinquished office before Patil's arrival.
Around 2.15 p.m., he came down the steps of the Raj Bhavan where the red carpet was rolled out for him.
A police band played the national anthem, while the mounted police gave the guard of honour to Narayanan, who took the salute with his wife Padmini by his side. Narayanan's aides and Raj Bhavan employees were present in strength.
Following the long standing tradition for an outgoing governor, Narayanan left the Raj Bhavan through the south gate. He boarded a Chennai-bound flight some time later.
Narayanan, 79, was the fourth governor appointed by the erstwhile UPA regime to quit before the end of their term since the BJP-led government took office last month.
The resignation came Monday, three days after he was quizzed by the Central Bureau of Investigation last week regarding the purchase of AgustaWestland VVIP helicopters by the erstwhile UPA regime. Narayanan was the National Security Advisor (NSA) then.
In a related development, Goa Governor B.V. Wanchoo resigned Friday, hours after he was quizzed by the CBI in the same case. He had been chief of the elite Special Protection Group (SPG) at the time the decision was taken.
Narayanan, a former Intelligence Bureau chief who was appointed NSA to the prime minister in January 2005 by the United Progressive Alliance government, took over as the West Bengal governor Jan 24, 2010. He had over six months left to complete his tenure.
There was persistent speculation about the 1955 batch Indian Police Service officer's resignation from the post since union Home Secretary Anil Goswami earlier this month reportedly made telephone calls to Narayanan and his counterparts in some other states, in an apparent move to nudge some UPA-appointed governors to step down.
The three governors who resigned earlier were B.L. Joshi (Uttar Pradesh), Shekhar Dutt (Chhattisgarh) and Ashwani Kumar (Nagaland).