Former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Manoj Sinha has been appointed as the new Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. A release issued by the press secretary of the President, Ajay Kumar Singh, said that the resignation of Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu has been accepted. The press release further clarifies that the appointment of Manoj Sinha will come into force from the date he takes charge of his office.
“The President has accepted the resignation of Shri Girish Chandra Murmu as Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. The President has been pleased to appoint Shri Manoj Sinha to be the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office vice Shri Girish Chandra Murmu (sic),” read the statement
Murmu, who commanded the state for nearly nine months, has been appointed as the new Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. Murmu will be replacing Rajiv Mehrishi, a 1978 batch IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre, as the CAG.
BJP leader Manoj Sinha has served as Minister of State for Railways in the first term of the Modi government. He contested from Ghazipur (UP) in the Lok Sabha elections held last year but he could not win. He was defeated by the coalition’s Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Afzal Ansari by 119,392 votes. In the 2014 elections, Sinha defeated Socialist candidate Shivakanya Kushwaha by 32,452 votes. In 2014, Manoj Sinha received a total of 306,929 votes.
PM Modi and Manoj Sinha have good relations since RSS days. When the BJP registered a historic victory in Uttar Pradesh in the 2017 assembly elections, Sinha was among the chief contenders for the post of Chief Minister. However, Yogi Adityanath became the Chief Minister and 61-year-old Sinha will now take over as the second lieutenant governor of Jammu and Kashmir.
After the appointment of Manoj Sinha as Lt Governor, former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah tweeted, ” Last night there were one or two names that people were circulating as a done deal & this name wasn’t among them. You can always trust this government to pull an unexpected name out of the hat contrary to anything the “sources” had planted earlier.”
Late on Wednesday, on the first anniversary of the removal of Article-370 from Jammu and Kashmir, the Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Girish Chandra Murmu resigned from his post. The murmur regarding the resignation of the Lieutenant Governor picked pace late on Wednesday evening. However, Murmu did official work all day and presided over the meeting of the Administrative Council. It was later in the evening that the news of his resignation was revealed.
Murmu, a 1985 batch IAS officer, has earlier served as the Principal Secretary to the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi. After Mr. Modi became the Prime Minister, Murmu joined the Union Finance Ministry. He became part of the expenditure department as a joint secretary.
While the reasons for Murmu’s resignation were not known, there are rumors that he was upset with the functioning of some senior bureaucrats.
Recently, Murmu gave an interview to a newspaper in which he spoke of no objection in restoring 4G services and also to conduct assembly elections soon. On this, the Election Commission had raised the objection that the task of conducting the election is with the Commission and not the Lieutenant Governor. The central government also said in the Supreme Court that it would test Murmu’s statements on 4G.
The center ended the special status of Jammu and Kashmir granted under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated it into two Union Territories Last year, on August 5. In October, after the bifurcation was implemented, Mr. Murmu was appointed as the first Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.