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Satya Pal Malik first career politician to be named Jammu and Kashmir governor

In other appointments, Satyadev Narayan Arya will named the new Haryana governor in place of Kaptan Singh Solanki, who will move to the Tripura Raj Bhavan.

india Updated: Aug 22, 2018 08:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Satya Pal Malik,Jammu and Kashmir governor,NN Vohra
File photo of newly appointed Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik.(HT Photo)

President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday appointed Satya Pal Malik as Jammu and Kashmir’s new governor. Malik, who has been the Bihar governor since September 2017, will replace NN Vohra, and will have direct administrative control since the state has been under the Governor’s Rule since the Bharatiya Janata Party withdrew support to the People’s Democratic Party-led government in June.

The move was part of a larger exercise under which three new appointments were made and some governors were reshuffled. Seven states will now have new governors. Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lalji Tandon will replace Malik in Bihar. Former Agra mayor Baby Rani Maurya has been appointed as Uttarakhand governor. Maurya will replace former Delhi police commissioner KK Paul. BJP politician Satyadev Narayan Arya will take over as Haryana governor.

Malik, a former socialist leader from western Uttar Pradesh who was with the Congress in the 1980s, joined the BJP in 2004. He is the first career politician to be named Jammu and Kashmir governor in over five decades. Karan Singh, son of the state’s last king Hari Singh, was the last politician to occupy the post between 1965 and 1967.

Former generals KV Krishna Rao and SK Sinha, ex-diplomat BK Nehru, former intelligence professionals like Girish Chandra Saxena and former civil servants such as Vohra, Bhagwan Sahay, Laxmi Kant Jha and Jagmohan have served as governors in Jammu and Kashmir since the 1960s. Jagmohan later joined politics and was a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

Vohra, who has been the state’s governor since 2008, completed his second term on June 27.

Jammu and Kashmir has been on the boil for the past couple of years due to a spurt in local militancy and mounting deaths in security operations — the latter being an issue that was seen as a factor behind the split between the BJP and the PDP.

Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s demands that a suspension of operations by government forces be extended despite unease among her then partners at the BJP was one of the immediate triggers for the government’s collapse. New Bihar governor Tandon is a former Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister who was close to Vajpayee. He represented Lucknow, Vajpayee’s parliamentary constituency, after the former prime minister retired from active politics.

Arya has replaced Kaptan Singh Solanki. An eight-time legislator from Bihar’s Rajgir, Arya also served as a minister in the Nitish Kumar-led government in 2010.

All the three new governors – Tandon, Maurya and Arya – have been associated with the BJP. The appointments of Maurya and Arya are being seen as part of the BJP’s attempts to reach out to the larger Dalit community.

With the exit of Vohra and Paul, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governor ESL Narasimhan is now the only governor appointed by the previous UPA government. Three north-eastern states – Tripura, Meghalaya and Sikkim – too got new governors. Haryana governor Solanki replaces Tathagata Roy in Tripura. Solanki is a leader with a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) background and was appointed a Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh in 2009. Roy, a former president of West Bengal BJP, has been appointed as Meghalaya governor. He will replace Ganga Prasad. A veteran BJP politician from Bihar, Prasad has been named as Sikkim governor.

First Published: Aug 21, 2018 19:40 IST