Governor’s rule imposed in J&K

Governor’s rule imposed in J&K

President Ram Nath Kovind has approved imposition of Governor’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir with immediate effect, a senior government official said on Wednesday. Governor N.N Vohra sent a report to Union Home Ministry on Tuesday evening recommending Central rule in the State after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti submitted her resignation since the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) pulled out of the alliance with People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

As Mr. Kovind is on a three-nation tour, the proposal was sent to Suriname, his current stop. “When the Governor sent the proposal on Tuesday evening, the President was already in transit from Athens to Suriname. As soon as he touched down in Paramaribo, he signed the recommendation giving his assent to Governor’s rule in J&K,” said the official.

J&K Governor N.N. Vohra, the man in the hot seat

N.N. Vohra, who has been occupying the J&K Governor’s office since 2008, is now the Centre’s best bet as the State plunged into a political crisis on Tuesday with the BJP pulling out of an alliance with the PDP.

Mr. Vohra (82), a 1959-batch IAS officer of the Punjab cadre, has only briefly remained out of work after he retired as Union Home Secretary in 1994. He was appointed Principal Secretary to thet hen Prime Minister, I.K. Gujral, in 1997 and has been on several committees on internal security and defence. “There are no immediate plans to remove him. His experience in handling the affairs of the State during complex situations like the 2008 Amarnath agitation that claimed over 100 lives can be an advantage. We cannot push the State into another administrative crisis,” said a senior Cabinet Minister. A former police officer who has worked with Mr. Vohra said besides the rich experience he had an affable relation with people cutting across political lines.

“He is well-connected and keeps a low profile. He does his work with persistence and is not known to antagonise anyone,” the officer said.

Before he assumed office in 2008, Mr. Vohra held a dialogue with all stakeholders in the State as the Centre’s interlocutor for five years. Though there is no fixed tenure for the Governor, he continues in office at the pleasure of the President. Mr. Vohra’s six-year term (that equals the State Assembly’s term of six-years) ends on June 25.

The Centre is unlikely to remove him from the post as an experienced hand is required at the time of the Amarnath Yatra that commences on June 28. Another Minister said that he would remain in office till the yatra concludes on August 28.

Mr. Vohra is also the ex-officio chairman of the Shri Amarnath ji Shrine Board and is the first one to offer prayers and inaugurate the yatra. The Centre has made massive security arrangements for the yatra after eight pilgrims were killed in an attack by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants last year.

On June 17, the Centre did not extend the cease-ops announced for Ramzan and asked the security forces to resume action.

NEW DELHI, JUNE 20, 2018