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Governor may leave chairmanship

india Updated: Aug 06, 2008 01:28 IST
Arun Joshi
Arun Joshi
Hindustan Times
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Even as pitched battles raged on in Srinagar over the controversy raised by the Amarnath land transfer order, sources in Jammu said Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra may step down as chairman of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board.

He is likely to pave the way for local men of eminence to fill and head it, the sources said.

Vohra, who took over as Governor on June 25 amid raging violence and massive protests in the Valley over the order to transfer land to the shrine board, had made up his mind to relieve himself of his duties as chairman of the shrine board. He was heading the board in his capacity as Governor in accordance with a law passed by the state legislature, the sources said.

Even before he assumed office, Vohra had wanted to de-link the office of Governor from chairmanship of the shrine board, the sources said.

It was the over-enthusiasm of his predecessor SK Sinha, who first prolonged the period of pilgrimage and then wanted land in Pahalgam and Baltal for building facilities for pilgrims in his capacity as the shrine board chairman. Added to this was the political game played by Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and the People’s Democratic Party to target each other on the issue—that had created problems for Vohra.

Trouble continues in the state—both in the Valley and Jammu over the land controversy and the Governor is keen to defuse it at all costs, mainly through dialogue and changes in the shrine board in line with the consensus of the political groups and others, the sources said.

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