Satya Pal Malik is new Governor of Jammu and Kashmir

Satya Pal Malik is new Governor of Jammu and Kashmir

Satya Pal Malik

In a significant move, former bureaucrat N N Vohra was on Tuesday removed as Governor of Jammu and Kashmir after serving in the post for ten years,  Centre gave the crucial assignment to its Bihar counterpart Satyapal Malik.

While Malik was transferred to Jammu and Kashmir, where Governor's Rule was imposed on June 20 after the fall of PDP-led government after BJP withdrew support, President Ram Nath Kovind also appointed three new governors in Bihar, Haryana and Uttarakhand. He also transferred three Governors to new states.

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

Malik, a former BJP National Vice president and MP, gets the crucial assignment, ten-and-a-half months after he was appointed Bihar Governor. His appointment came amid reports about the disagreement between Vohra and the Centre over how to deal with Kashmir under Governor's Rule.

As reports of discord were out in the open, there was speculation that the Centre may appoint Comptroller and Auditor General Rajiv Mehrishi, who retired as Home Secretary, as the Jammu and Kashmir Governor. Other names which were doing the rounds included Lt General Syed Ata Hasnain and Lt General D S Hooda among others.

Malik will only be the second politician to enter the Kashmir Raj Bhavan as 11 others were former bureaucrats or from military personnel. A former union minister of state for Parliamentary affairs and tourism, Malik joined BJP after stints in Bharatiya Kranti Dal, Janata Dal and Lok Dal among others and considered close to Raj Narain and Charan Singh. With Malik's appointment, New Delhi is expected to have more say in the running of the state as there were rumours in the power corridors that Vohra was not entertaining certain decisions from the Centre.

In other appointments, the BJP-led Centre accommodated senior leader from Uttar Pradesh Lalji Tandon as Bihar Governor. Senior Dalit leader from Bihar Satyadev Narayan Arya has been appointed as Haryana Governor while another UP leader Baby Rani Maurya has been appointed Uttarakhand Governor.

Meghalaya Governor Ganga Prasad has been transferred to Sikkim while Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy has been transferred to Meghalaya. Kaptan Singh Solanki, Governor of Haryana, has been transferred to Tripura.