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Who was the First Governor of Uttarakhand?

In the grand tapestry of India’s statehood evolution, Uttarakhand stands as a testament to perseverance and regional identity. Established on November 9, 2000, Uttarakhand emerged as the 27th state of the Indian Union, carving its own destiny amidst the majestic Himalayan ranges. At the helm of this historic moment was its first Governor, a figure whose leadership marked the beginning of a new era for the people of Uttarakhand.

Who was the First Governor of Uttarakhand?

Surjit Singh Barnala was the first Governor of Uttarakhand, serving from November 9, 2000, to January 7, 2003. His tenure laid the foundation for the governance structure of the newly-formed state and contributed significantly to its early developmental efforts. As an experienced politician and administrator, Barnala played a pivotal role in shaping Uttarakhand’s trajectory as it embarked on its journey as an independent entity within the Indian Union.

First Governor of Uttarakhand – Basic Details

Name: Surjit Singh Barnala
Date of birth: 21st October 1925
Place of Birth: Ateli, Punjab Province, British India
Known for: 1st Governor of Uttarakhand
Political Party: Shiromani Akali Dal
Death: 14th January 2017

Inaugural Governor of Uttarakhand – Early Life and Political Journey

Surjit Singh Barnala, born on October 21, 1925, in Begpur Village, Ateli Tehsil, Haryana, was a prominent Indian politician who left an indelible mark on the political landscape of the country. Hailing from a well-to-do family, Barnala completed his law degree from Lucknow University in 1945. His foray into politics began in the late 1960s when he joined the Akali Dal and quickly rose through the ranks.

Uttarakhand’s First Governor – Ministerial Tenures and Contributions

Barnala’s political career saw him serving in various ministerial capacities, starting with his appointment as the Educational Minister in the Justice Gurnam Singh Government. Notably, he played a crucial role in establishing Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar. In 1977, he was elected to the Indian Parliament and became the Agricultural Minister in the Morarji Desai Cabinet. His tenure witnessed significant milestones, including the signing of the historic Ganga Waters Agreement with Bangladesh in 1978.

Chief Ministerial Stint in Punjab

Barnala’s leadership acumen came to the fore when he served as the Chief Minister of Punjab from September 29, 1985, to May 11, 1987. His tenure coincided with a tumultuous period marked by the Sikh militant movement in the state. Despite the challenges, he endeavored to restore peace and stability while upholding the principles of regional autonomy and inclusive governance.

Governorship and Legacy of First Governor of Uttarakhand

Following his tenure as Chief Minister, Barnala embarked on a distinguished journey as a Governor, serving in several states including Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, and holding additional charges in various capacities. His tenure as the first Governor of Uttarakhand from 2000 to 2003 laid the groundwork for the state’s governance structure and development trajectory.

Uttarakhand’s First Governor – Literacy and Artistic Pursuits

Beyond his political engagements, Barnala was a prolific author and painter. His books, “Story of an Escape” and “My Other Two Daughters,” offer insights into his eventful life and experiences. Additionally, his artistic endeavors, showcased through landscapes and political portraits, reflected his multifaceted personality and creative flair.

First Governor of Uttarakhand – Personal Life and Demise

Surjit Singh Barnala was married to Surjit Kaur Barnala, an active politician herself. The couple shared a family of three sons and a daughter. Barnala’s demise on January 14, 2017, at the age of 91, marked the end of an era in Indian politics. His contributions to the nation, spanning decades of public service and leadership, continue to inspire generations of aspiring leaders and citizens committed to the ideals of democracy and public welfare.

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