Crescent Kashmir

President Kovind accepts Murmu’s resignation, Manoj Sinha to be the new L-G of J&K

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Hours after Gireesh Chandra Murmu resigned from the post, Former union minister and senior BJP leader from Uttar Pradesh Manoj Sinha was appointed as the new Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, according to a statement by the Rashtrapati Bhavan. President Ram Nath Kovind accepted Murmu’s resignation on Thursday.

The communique issued by the President’s press secretary Ajay Kumar 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” in place of Murmu.

Murmu had taken oath as the first L-G Jammu & Kashmir on October 31, 2019. His resignation comes exactly a year after the Centre abrogated the special status of erstwhile state, and decided to bifurcate it into two Union Territories.

Before being appointed L-G, Murmu was the Expenditure Secretary in the Union Ministry of Finance, and had drafted the development package announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2015.

The sources in the government said Murmu may be appointed the Comptroller and Auditor General now. Rajiv Mehrishi, who is the CAG now, is scheduled to complete his term this week. Sources in Srinagar said the L-G’s office cancelled a scheduled meeting with a media delegation from New Delhi late afternoon. All other meetings scheduled in the evening were also cancelled. He left for Jammu from Srinagar Wednesday evening, and is likely to be in New Delhi on Thursday.

Just a week ago, the Election Commission had taken exception to LG Murmu’s recent comments to the media on the timing of Assembly elections in Jammu & Kashmir. In a strongly-worded statement, the EC said all decisions on the conduct and timing of elections are its “sole remit”. In an interview to The Indian Express, Murmu had emphasised that President’s Rule in J&K cannot be in place indefinitely and that “elections would not be very far.”

Sources in Srinagar also said differences between the LG and Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam had also resulted in some administrative problems. The LG had started calling meetings and files to his office, and sending notes to the Chief Secretary for necessary action.

Sinha, 61, has been actively involved in working for the backward villages of eastern Uttar Pradesh. His political career began in 1982 when he was elected the president of Banaras Hindu University(BHU) Students Union. He was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1996 and repeated the term in 1999.

From 1989 to 1996, Sinha remained a member of the BJP national council. He was elected to the Lower House for a third term in national politics when the BJP swept the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.

He was former Minister of State for Railways and later held an independent charge of Ministry of Communication.

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