Former home secretary NN Vohra will be the next Governor of J&K, the first central nominee to the state’s Raj Bhavan in nearly two decades not to have a military or intelligence background.
As the Centre’s mediator for the strife-torn state since 2003, Vohra has been closely associated with developments in the state and was considered, a home ministry official put it, "the natural choice".
"The decision has been taken. It is a matter of time before the formalities are completed and an announcement made," the official told Hindustan Times.
Vohra will replace General (retd) Srinivas Kumar Sinha whose five-year term expired last week.
The last retired bureaucrat to be appointed to this office was Jagmohan, who was appointed to the J&K Governor’s hot seat in early 1990 for the second time.
Jagmohan was, however, recalled in May 1990 as the security situation in the Valley continued to worsen and replaced by Girish Chandra Saxena, the former chief of India’s external intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing.
The central government’s decision to nominate Vohra, a seasoned bureaucrat, also ends the tussle between chief minister Gulam Nabi Azad and coalition partner, Peoples Democratic Party, over the next incumbent in Srinagar’s Raj Bhavan.
The PDP had demanded that a civilian person be appointed as a reflection of the improving security situation in the Valley.
Azad, on the other hand, was pushing for an extension for incumbent Gen Sinha. Vohra not only gives Raj Bhavan a civilian face but also comes with experience handling tricky security related matters.