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New Delhi, August 6, 2020
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Union Minister Manoj Sinha was today appointed as the new Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The announcement came a day after G C Murmu, the first Lt Governor of the new Union Territory, carved out of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, resigned yesterday in a suprise move.
"The President has accepted the resignation of Shri Girish Chandra Murmu as Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir," a Rashtrapati Bhavan press communique said this morning.
"The President has been pleased to appoint Shri Manoj Sinha, to be the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office vice Shri Girish Chandra Murmu," the communique added.
Murmu's resignation came on the first anniversary of the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution of India in the erstwhile state, under which Jammu and Kashmir had enjoyed a special status.
Murmu, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1985 batch (Gujarat cadre), was appointed as the first Lt Governor of the new Union Territory on October 25, 2019. He was at that time serving as the Expenditure Secretary in the Union Ministry of Finance.
Murmu had earlier served as Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister of Gujarat when Narendra Modi, now the Prime Minister, held that position.
Parliament had in early August 2019 year passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019 and approved the resolution to abrogate the Constitution's Article 370. The Bill, which was passed by Rajya Sabha on August 5, 2019 was approved by the Lok Sabha on the following day.
The Jammu and Reorganisation Act bifurcated the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir with a legislature, and Ladakh without a legislature.
Sinha is a three-time member of the Lok Sabha from the Ghazipur constituency of eastern Uttar Pradesh, having been elected to the 11th, the 13th and the 16th Lok Sabha in 1996, 1999 and 2014. However, he had lost the seat in last year's Lok Sabha polls.
He had served as Union Minister of State for Railways from May 27, 2014 in the first term of the Narendra Modi government. Later, on July 5, he was also given the portfolio of Communications with independent charge.