Bihar governor Satya Pal Malik was appointed the new Governor of Jammu and Kashmir by the President on Tuesday.
Mr. Malik replaces incumbent N.N. Vohra, who has occupied the J&K Raj Bhavan since 2008.
The appointment of a person from a socialist background and not from the uniformed forces, as was being speculated earlier, reflects the Centre’s willingness to continue dialogue and engagement in the State, currently under Governor’s rule.
Though there is no fixed tenure for the Governor, Mr. Vohra continued in office at the pleasure of the President of India. Mr. Vohra’s second six-year term (that equals the State Assembly’s term of six years) ended on June 25. He continued in office after the State was placed under Governor’s rule on June 20 and Centre needed an experienced administrator given the ongoing Amarnath Yatra that concludes on August 28.
Mr. Malik started out as a student leader in Meerut. In 1974 he joined Charan Singh’s Lok Dal and was elected an MLA to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly. He was later elected twice to Rajya Sabha — in 1980 as a Lok Dal candidate and in 1986 from the Congress.
However, he was disqualified from Rajya Sabha as he started attending meetings of the rebel Congress leader V.P. Singh’s Jan Morcha. In 1990 he became the Union Minister of State, Parliamentary Affairs and Tourism in Mr. Singh’s cabinet.
In 2004, he joined the BJP and contested the general election against his one-time mentor Charan Singh’s son Ajit Singh from Baghpat. He lost the elections.
A Rashtrapati Bhavan communiqué said senior BJP leader Lalji Tandon was appointed as Governor of Bihar replacing Mr. Malik, and Satyadev Narayan Arya will be the new Governor of Haryana,
Mr. Tandon was the BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Lucknow in 2009 that was represented by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee previously. Mr. Tandon remained a close confidant of Mr. Vajpayee.
According to the Rashtrapathi Bhavan release, Baby Rani Maurya will be the new Governor of Uttarakhand. She replaces K.K. Paul who was appointed by the UPA government. The only UPA era appointee currently is E.S.L. Narsimhan, who holds dual charge as Governor of Telengana and Andhra Pradesh.
Kaptan Singh Solanki, the Governor of Haryana, has been transferred to Tripura. Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy has been transferred to Meghalaya. Ganga Prasad, the Governor of Meghalaya, has been transferred to Sikkim.