Who is J&K new Lt. Governor?
Seasoned politician Manoj Sinha was given charge of helping the union territory navigate its new political circumstances.
Manoj Sinha, a former union minister and BJP leader from Uttar Pradesh was handpicked by the Modi administration to take charge as the new Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. One year after its bifurcation, the union territory saw a rejig of its top office with the departure of its first Lt. Guv. GC Murmu. In replacing him with a politician rather than a retired army man or another civil servant, the Centre is sending a signal that it is working towards developing friendlier ties with the bureaucracy and the population.
Sinha is seen as a man with political experience who can handle both public sentiment and administration. A loyal party man and a three-time member of parliament, Sinha was a contender for the chief ministership of UP in 2017 before he was passed over for Yogi Adithyanath.
Sinha is from Ghazipur in eastern Uttar Pradesh, a constituency that he has cultivated for several years now. Even when BJP was out of power between 2004 and 2014, he was a regular in party meeting across the country, staying committed to the cause and the cadre. This earned him ministership under the first Modi government in 2014 when he was made the minister of telecommunications and later minister of state for railways.
He is widely considered to enjoy the confidence of both Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. In fact, when Amit Shah requested that he compete from another constituency in 2019, he refused, saying he wanted to serve the people of Ghazipur. He eventually lost by a margin of 1.19 lakh votes. The Rajya Sabha post that was going to come his way also didn’t materialise. After this, he spent a year in political obscurity before he was called upon to take on this important assignment. It comes at a time when the Centre is preparing to initiate the political process in a region grappling with security concerns and socio-political upheavals.
The outgoing Lt. Guv GC Murmu has been made the 14th Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the first tribal person to hold the post. Murmu too is closely associated with PM Modi since the time he was the chief minister of Gujarat where he served in the Home department and later as Modi’s principal secretary. For the next six years, Murmu will be responsible for the auditing the revenue and expenditure of the state and central governments.