President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed former union minister and senior BJP leader from Uttar Pradesh, Manoj Sinha, as lieutenant governor of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the Rashtrapati Bhawan spokesman said.
A president’s secretariat communiqué said that the resignation of Girish Chandra Murmu as lieutenant governor of Jammu and Kashmir has been accepted.
The communiqué issued by the President’s press secretary Ajay Kumar said “the President has been pleased to appoint Shri Manoj Sinha, to be the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office” in place of Murmu.
The 61-year-old Sinha was born on 1 July 1959 in Mohanpura of Ghazipur district of eastern Uttar Pradesh and has been actively involved in working for the backward villages of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
His political career started when he was elected the president of Banaras Hindu University Students Union in 1982. He was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1996 and repeated the term in 1999.
Sinha has been a member of the BJP national council from 1989 to 1996. He was elected to the Lower House for a third term in national politics when the BJP swept the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.
He was a former minister of state for railways and later held an independent charge of the Ministry of Communication.
The move to appoint Sinha as the next Lieutenant Governor is aimed at reaching out to the people of the union territory with a soft political touch, something that Murmu, a former bureaucrat, could not achieve during his nine-month tenure.
After Satyapal Malik, who was governor of erstwhile J&K state, Sinha is the new political touch to the Valley – both Malik and Sinha are grassroot politicians with the latter an alma mater of IIT-BHU, Varanasi. He lost the last Lok Sabha election to strongman and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate Afzal Ansari.
After the phenomenal victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh in 2017, Sinha’s name was among the contenders for the post of chief minister. He eventually lost the post to Yogi Adityanath, a five-time MP from Gorakhpur.