New Delhi: The Centre on Thursday appointed senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former telecom minister Manoj Sinha as second governor of Jammu & Kashmir after its bifurcation on August 5, 2019.
The appointment of Sinha, 61, a well-known leader of ABVP or Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, replaces Girish Chandra Murmu, an IAS officer, who resigned on Wednesday night. Murmu is tipped to be the next Comtproller and Auditor General (CAG.
Sinha’s name was announced in a communiqué by Rashtrapati Bhawan. He is the first political leader to be appointed LG of the new Union territory, which saw curfew and clampdown on the first anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of state into two Union territories. Hundreds of J&K’s mainstream political party leaders, activists, lawyers, businesspersons were arrested, some of whom have been released.
A Rashtrapati Bhawan communique issued by the President's press secretary Ajay Kumar said: "The President has been pleased to appoint Manoj Sinha, to be the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office" in place of Murmu.
Sinha, who was said to a key contender to become the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, lost to Yogi Adityanath in the race and has been on the sidelines since.
Manoj Sinha, a three-time BJP member of Parliament, was in the party’s national council from 1989-96. However, in 2019, he lost the Ghazipur Lok Sabha seat to a Bahujan Samaj Party candidate.
Sinha is the second politician to be appointed as governor of J&K, and the first after its downgrade as a UT. Earlier, the Centre had appointed Satya Pal Malik, a politician, as governor of the erstwhile state.
On Wednesday night, Murmu, a 1985 batch IAS officer, had abruptly submitted his resignation.
The 60-year-old former IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre had on October 29 last year taken over as the first LG of the UT.
Incidentally, the Election Commission had in July objected to the reported remarks of Murmu on the timing of holding polls in the Union territory, and had said in the constitutional scheme of things, only the EC was authorised to decide on poll schedule. Murmu had reportedly said that polls in the newly-carved UT could be held after the delimitation exercise.
With inputs from PTI