New Delhi: Jammu & Kashmir may have a new governor later this month, when incumbent N.N. Vohra exits office after a 10-year term, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav confirmed in an exclusive interview with ThePrint.
“The tenure of the governor gets over in a couple of weeks. The government can think about the future, take what steps it thinks are best.
I assume there will be a new governor soon,” Madhav said.
Rumours about a new governor in Jammu & Kashmir have been around for some time now. Although the J&K assembly has been in suspended animation since the BJP pulled out of the coalition government in late June, speculation has been rife that the party wants to break away members from its former alliance partner, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and form the state government.
Names of Maharashtra governor C. Vidyasagar Rao, a committed activist of the RSS for several decades, and Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) and former home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi are being touted as possible successors to Vohra.
Sources said there had been differences of opinion between Vohra and the BJP leadership, especially around the restoration of the assembly and Article 35A, which outlines the special privileges residents of Jammu & Kashmir are entitled to.
“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,” said Madhav.
“What if the National Conference and Congress and PDP come together? They have the numbers… But we are in favour of continuing governor’s rule, and after that, perhaps, President’s rule for another six months,” he added.
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).
Madhav, the BJP’s pointperson for Kashmir, was in Srinagar last week to persuade the PDP to support the NDA’s candidate in the election for the post of deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha. In the end, the PDP refused to support the NDA candidate, but abstained from voting. This lowered the threshold for victory, helping Harivansh Narayan Singh win handsomely.