August 21, 2018
New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday inducted a political appointee as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, transferring Bihar incumbent Satya Pal Malik to replace former bureaucrat N.N. Vohra, who has held the job for more than 10 years, setting off speculation about political moves in the offing in the troubled state.
The 71-year-old Malik’s transfer to Jammu and Kashmir is part of a clutch of gubernatorial appointments made by the Centre on Tuesday that included three new appointments and four transfers.
The political appointment in Jammu and Kashmir breaks a long list of bureaucrats and top Army commanders and intelligence officers who were generally relied upon by the Centre over decades as its representative in the Raj Bhawan.
Apart from Vohra, another UPA appointee, K.K. Paul, has been replaced by former Agra Mayor and BJP leader Baby Rani Maurya as the Governor of Uttarakhand.
Malik’s transfer to the politically-volatile border state comes amidst a state of flux in politics after the withdrawal of support by the BJP to the government headed by Mehbooba Mufti a few months ago even as the Assembly has been kept in suspended animation, keeping options open for the formation of a new government.
Another speculation was whether the Centre was thinking in terms of taking a political initiative in the state that has been the target of cross-border terrorism and separatism and amidst political changes in Pakistan.
Malik was appointed the Bihar Governor to fill in the place of President Ram Nath Kovind after his election to the top post last year. He was a Minister of State in the government headed by V.P. Singh at the Centre.
The other new appointees included Lalji Tandon, a close aide of late Atal Bihari Vajpayee and a former MP from Lucknow who will take the place of Malik in Bihar.
Satyadev Narayan Arya (Haryana), a Jan Sangh leader who had been a member of the Bihar Assembly for eight terms, has been appointed Governor of Haryana in place of Kaptan Singh Solanki who has been tarnsferred to Tripura.
The incumbent in Tripura, Tathagata Roy, has been shifted to Meghalaya in place of Ganga Prasad, who has been made Governor of Sikkim. (IANS)