Center wants ‘political person’ as next Jammu and Kashmir governor

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New Delhi: The Center favors a “political person” to become the next governor of Jammu and Kashmir, in a departure from the traditional practice of appointing people with military, police or civil service backgrounds to the post, people familiar with the matter said.
The tenure of current governor, NN Vohra, a former civil servant, ends on June 27 and he is expected to continue in the post at least until the completion of the annual Amarnath Yatra between June 28 and August 26. If a change takes place after that, a ‘political person’ will be New Delhi’s first choice as replacement to Vohra, the people cited above said.
The state was placed under governor’s rule on Wednesday after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) walked out of its nearly 40-month-old alliance with the Mehbooba Mufti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
People with knowledge of the matter suggest that New Delhi is averse to sending a ‘wrong message’ – both at home and abroad – by choosing a ‘military man’ as the next governor of the conflict-torn province.
Vohra, an 82-year-old former Indian Administrative Service officer of the Punjab cadre, was the first person from a non-rmy and non-Indian Police Service background in the last 18 years to be appointed J&K governor. He was named to the post in 2008. Former IAS officer Jagmohan was the last civilian governor, before Vohra, to have served in J&K, in the late 1980s and again briefly in 1990..
“We are looking for a political person,” a leader familiar with the matter said. “We moved from military men to an administrator as J&K governor. We have to take it forward by appointing a political person as the next governor. We cannot turn the clock back by having another military man as the next governor.”
In case the Centre does not find a suitable political person to be the next governor of J&K, the person said, it may fill the post with another ‘administrator.’ “The search is on,” the person quoted above said.

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