New Delhi: The Rashtrapati Bhawan on Thursday appointed former union minister Manoj Sinha as the next lieutenant governor of Jammu and Kashmir. The BJP veteran will replace the former Gujarat-cadre IAS officer Girish Chandra Murmu who abruptly resigned on Wednesday, on the day the union territory marked the first anniversary of the abrogation of article 370 of the constitution.
In a statement, the President’s house said, “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.”
Known as a soft politician with his down-to-earth nature and a three-time member of parliament, Sinha served as minister of state (independent charge) for communications and minister of state for railways in the last Narendra Modi government.
His top priority would be to end the factionalism within the bureaucracy in the union territory and assessing the intelligence department in the valley.
He will be the first politician to be appointed as the LG in the newly-created union territory after it was speculated that Murmu and New Delhi had “political difference” for the valley. Murmu’s resignation came days after his “difference in stands” on the restoration of 4G with the Narendra Modi government.
The ministry of home affairs fears the restoration would trigger the misuse by anti-state elements while he had a stand that he is “not afraid how people of Kashmir will use” the internet.
However, there is no official statement on his resignation. A 1985-batch IAS officer, he served as the principal secretary to Narendra Modi during his tenure as Gujarat chief minister.
The government on Thursday confirmed Murmu as the next Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, replacing 1978-batch former IAS officer Rajiv Mehrishi.