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Disagreement over Article 35A? Search on for new Governor of JK, Rajiv Mehrishi one contender

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‘Article 35-A should not be dealt with till a popular government has been formed’

‘Either a senior bureaucrat or a former general would replace Vohra and no politician would be head of the state, as it would have International ramifications’

Srinagar: According to New Delhi based news organization NDTV, Jammu and Kashmir will get a new Governor as the Government of India (GoI) has decided not to continue with N N Vohra.

Vohra, 82, has handled the charge of Jammu and Kashmir for more than a decade. Reportedly, search is on for a new face and one of the contenders include Former home minister and current Comptroller and Auditor General Rajiv Mehrishi.

Jammu and Kashmir has been under Governor’s Rule since June 20, after the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) stepped out of its coalition with regional People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

NDTV also reported that the GoI and Governor N N Vohra do not see eye to eye on the formation of a new government in Jammu and Kashmir. The Centre is keen on it, but Vohra, who had handled the state four times between governments, is not ready to comply.

While quoting a senior functionary of the home ministry, NDTV reported, “At this last stage he is not ready to accommodate certain decisions.”

The official said N N Vohra does not want to become another Jagmohan. In 1984, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had asked sitting governor BK Nehru to remove Farooq Abdullah government. When he resisted, he was replaced by Jagmohan, who made it possible for GM Shah to become the new Chief Minister of the state.

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The trigger for the GoI’s decision, however, was a disagreement over Article 35A of the constitution. The article – which allows the state government to define who is a permanent resident of the state and provide them with special privileges – is an extremely sensitive issue for Kashmiris, who see it as a matter of self-determination.

NDTV also reported that Governor N N Vohra has written a letter to home minister of India Rajnath Singh, saying that issue of Article 35-A should not be dealt with till a popular government has been formed.

Vohra was appointed by the UPA government and the Narendra Modi government had continued with him. Even though his team ended on June 28, the GoI decided to continue with him. The Amarnath Yatra was due to start at the time and the Governor was heading the board which was looking into “elaborate security cover”.

The report also quoted a senior official saying that another name that’s being discussed is that of a former Army Chief. “Either a senior bureaucrat or a former general would replace Vohra and no politician would be head of the state, as it would have International ramifications.”

The GoI also reportedly feels a new Governor would be able to handle the situation in a “more effective manner as security forces step up the anti-terror operation”.

The unified command for security forces under former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had virtually collapsed. The new Governor will have a clear mandate from the Centre to revive the command and control structure. The new governor will also have an assurance of a long tenure, reported NDTV.

Earlier on June 19, BJP stepped out of its coalition government with PDP saying it was “untenable to continue because of security concerns and rising terrorism”.

 

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