SRINAGAR: Who will be the new governor of the sensitive state of Jammu and Kashmir? The incumbent Governor Narendra Nath Vohra’s second term ends on June 28 and there is no clarity whether he would be granted another five-year-term or replaced by some former Army commander, Intelligence official or a bureaucrat.
Vohra, 82, had taken over as governor of J&K on June 25, 2008, replacing controversial former Army General (Retired) SK Sinha during the Amarnath land row agitation. In his first act as governor, he rescinded the controversial Amarnath shrine land transfer order, which cooled the tempers in Kashmir where dozens of people were killed during the land row agitation.
Before being appointed as J&K Governor, Vohra was the Centre’s interlocutor on Kashmir in 2003 and had also held talks with mainstream and separatist leaders.
Sources said since the Amarnath Yatra would begin from June 28, the Centre may not like to replace Vohra now. “Vohra is the chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board and has been managing the yatra well. He handled the Amarnath land row agitation in 2008 proficiently and as there are talks of extending the ceasefire during the two-month pilgrimage period, the Centre may want continuity in the process and not change the governor right now,” they said.
Also, given the present political and security situation and parliamentary elections next year, appointing a new governor may disturb the political balance, governance and Centre-state relations.
Sources, however, said Vohra is not interested in seeking another full term.
Vohra, who served as Principal Secretary to Prime Minister IK Gujral in 1997-98, and as Union Home Secretary and Defence Secretary, had reportedly wanted to resign last year but was convinced to continue by the Centre.
Sources said the names of former Army chief General (Retd) Dalbir Singh Suhag and the Centre’s interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma were being discussed by the Union Home Ministry.