Senior BJP leader from Uttar Pradesh Manoj Sinha was on Thursday appointed as the new Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, the first political leader to take charge as the LG of the union territory.
The 61-year-old Sinha comes in place of former IAS officer Girish Chandra Murmu, who tendered his resignation on Wednesday night.
A Rashtrapati Bhawan communique on Thursday said the resignation of Murmu has been accepted.
The communique issued by the President’s press secretary Ajay Kumar said, “The President has been pleased to appoint 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.
Known as ‘vikas purush’ (leader involved in development), Sinha is a three-time Lok Sabha MP who held charge of the Communication Ministry as a Minister of State in 2016 when the telecom industry was engaged in sale of spectrum.
Sinha, a B.Tech in civil engineering, has been credited with overcoming the menace of call drop.
Elected to Lok Sabha in 1996 for the first time, Sinha, an agriculturist, is the first politician to be elected as LG of the union territory.
Earlier the Centre had appointed Satya Pal Malik, a politician, as governor of the erstwhile state before it was bifurcated into two union territories — Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir — on August 5 last year.
Sinha, who was elected to Lok Sabha in 1999 and 2014, was front runner for the post of Uttar Pradesh chief minister after the party walked away with 265 seats in the 403-member assembly.
Sinha, who began his political career after being elected the president of the Banaras Hindu University Students Union in 1982, was born in Mohanpura of Ghazipur district of eastern UP, and has been actively involved in working for the backward villages.
Murmu, a 1985 batch IAS officer, had abruptly submitted his resignation on Wednesday night 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.
The 60-year-old former IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre 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.
Highly-placed sources said that Murmu was likely to be given a new assignment at the Centre.
The Election Commission had in July taken exception to the reported remarks of Murmu on timings of polls in the union territory, and said in the constitutional scheme of things, only the EC is authorised to decide on poll schedule.