J&K to have new governor later this month

August 14, 2018

TEHRAN - The Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) state is expected to get a new governor later this month as the incumbent’s 10-year term comes to an end, reports in Indian media said, quoting the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Kashmir pointsman Ram Madhav.

The names of C. Vidyasagar Rao, who reports described as a “committed activist of the RSS (BJP’s parent organization)” and former bureaucrat Rajiv Mehrishi are being touted as possible successors to N N Vohra.

According to a report in The Print, there had been differences of opinion between Vohra and the BJP leadership, especially around the Article 35A, which outlines special privileges for people in Kashmir and which has triggered widespread protests in the troubled valley in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, it lays speculation about government formation to rest as the BJP government in New Delhi appears inclined towards continued Governor’s rule. “Right now we prefer to continue governor’s rule in J&K. We are in favour of continuing the state of suspended animation of the assembly. But we will have to see how politics happens,” Madhav was quoted in the report.

The BJP-PDP coalition government in J&K collapsed last month and since then it has been Governor’s rule in the region. In the 87-member J&K assembly, the BJP is currently the single-largest party with 28 MLAs, followed by the BJP (25), the National Conference (15) and the Congress (12).