Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya, a former governor of Nagaland and senior BJP leader, passed away in Mumbai on November 11, 2023, at the age of 92. Acharya was a respected figure in Indian politics and society, and his death is a significant loss.
Early Life and Education
Acharya was born in Udupi, Karnataka, in 1931. He completed his matriculation from Christian High School, Udupi. He studied at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College (MGM College), Udupi, in 1949. After graduation, he worked in Mumbai and was associated with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was also a member of the Mumbai University’s senate and completed an LL.B degree from Mumbai University.
Career in Politics
Acharya was actively involved in politics from a young age. He joined the BJP in 1980 and held various positions in the party before becoming governor. He was elected the BJP President of North West Bombay District in 1987 and later in 1989 became a committee member of the Mumbai BJP. In 1991, he was elected a national executive member of BJP in charge of the North Eastern States of India, namely: Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland. He was also all India national secretary of the BJP and in charge of North Eastern States from 1995-2002. In 2002, he was the national executive member with the charge of Kerala and Lakshadweep and in 2005 of Tamil Nadu. Acharya was the national in charge of SC/ST Morcha and co-convenor of the Overseas Friends of BJP and the National Prabhari of North East India Samparka Cell.
Acharya was appointed Governor of Nagaland on July 14, 2014, after President Pranab Mukherjee accepted the resignation of Tripura Governor Vakkom Purushothaman. He also served as the Governor of Assam, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, and Manipur at various times. During his tenure as governor, Acharya worked tirelessly to promote peace and development in the North Eastern states. He was also a strong advocate for the rights of tribal people.
Key Achievements as Governor
Here are some of Acharya’s key achievements as governor:
- He played a key role in bringing peace to Nagaland. He was instrumental in the signing of the Framework Agreement between the Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) in 2015.
- He worked to promote development in the North Eastern states. He inaugurated a number of infrastructure projects and launched initiatives to improve education and healthcare in the region.
- He was a strong advocate for the rights of tribal people. He spoke out against discrimination against tribal people and worked to promote their culture and traditions.
- He was also a great supporter of education and youth empowerment. He launched a number of initiatives to promote education among tribal youth and to help them develop their skills.