GC Murmu appointed as J&K Lt Guv, RK Mathur for Ladakh

GC Murmu appointed as J&K Lt Guv, RK Mathur for Ladakh

Girish Chandra Murmu

Union Expenditure Secretary Girish Chandra Murmu, who is considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and former Defence Secretary R K Mathur will be the first Lieutenant Governors of union territories of Jammu and Kashmir as well as Ladakh respectively.

The appointments were announced by Rashtrapati Bhavan on Friday night, as the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories is set to place on October 31. 

President Ram Nath Kovind also approved the transfer of incumbent Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satyapal Malik to Goa, replacing Mridula Sinha whose term has ended. Malik was the first career politician to be appointed to the position in Jammu and Kashmir in 51 years.

In another appointment, Government moved its Jammu and Kashmir interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma, who was former Intelligence Bureau chief, as Administrator of Lakshadweep while the President also named P S Sreedharan Pillai, who is presently BJP Kerala president, as the Governor of Mizoram. Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi holds additional charge of Mizoram at present.

Pillai is the second Kerala BJP chief to become Mizoram Governor. His predecessor Kummanam Rajasekharan was also earlier appointed Mizoram Governor when he was Kerala BJP chief but resigned before the Lok Sabha elections to fight from Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat, which he lost. 

The appointments will take effect from the dates they assume charge of their respective offices, a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said.

A 1985-batch Gujarat cadre officer who hails from Odisha and set to retire next month, Murmu was appointed Expenditure Secretary in March this year. He is known for his implementation skills and was known to enjoy the trust and confidence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah also. 

A post-graduate in political science who also holds MBA degree, Murmu was also questioned by the CBI in 2013 in connection with the alleged fake encounter case involving the killing of Ishrat Jahan and three others who were said to be accused of being involved in a plot to assassinate Modi.

Mathur (65), who holds a masters degree in industrial engineering from IIT, was also Tripura Chief Secretary.

The choice of two bureaucrats rather than politicians to the sensitive posts comes two months after the government scrapped special status of Jammu and Kashmir and Parliament passing a bill to bifurcate the state into two union territories.

They will be heading to the two union territories when normalcy continues to elude the whole of Jammu and Kashmir following the August 5 decision. 

When it becomes union territories, the Centre, especially Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), will control of law and order and police through the Lt Governor. Issues related to land will be a subject under the elected government in Jammu and Kashmir union territory as it will have an elected Assembly. 

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