Former union minister and senior BJP leader from Uttar Pradesh, Manoj Sinha was appointed the new Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor on Thursday (Aug 6) after GC Murmu abruptly resigned on Wednesday. The appointment of Murmu’s successor was announced in a statement from President Ram Nath Kovind’s 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.
Manoj Sinha’s political career started when he was elected the president of Banaras Hindu University Students Union in 1982.
He was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1996 and got re-elected in 1999. Sinha was a member of the BJP national council from 1989 to 1996. 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 is a former minister of state for Railways and later held independent charge of the Ministry of Communication. In the 2019 general elections, he lost the Ghazipur seat to BSP’s Afzal Ansari.
Murmu’s resignation came on the day the Union Territory marked the first anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
There was no official word on the reasons for the resignation of Murmu but the buzz is that he may take over as the next Comptroller and Auditor General which is expected to fall vacant when incumbent Rajiv Mehrishi turns 65 this week. Since the CAG is a constitutional post it cannot be left vacant.
It is to be noted that a 1985-batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer served as Principal Secretary to Narendra Modi during his tenure as Gujarat Chief Minister.
The 60-year-old former IAS officer had on October 29 last year taken over as the first LG of the union territory after the state of Jammu and Kashmir was downgraded and sliced into two UTs, the other one being Ladakh.
He was expenditure secretary in the ministry of finance before being appointed Lt Governor.
It is to be remembered that his views on the timing of polls in Jammu and Kashmir did not not go down well with the poll panel.