Jammu and Kashmir’s newly appointed Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Friday said the administration would soon initiate dialogue with people to end uncertainty and terrorism in the region, PTI reported. Earlier in the day, the 61-year-old former Union minister took the oath of office, administered by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Justice Gita Mittal at a function in the Raj Bhavan in Srinagar.
Sinha was appointed after incumbent Girish Chandra Murmu, a former Indian Administrative Service officer, resigned on Wednesday. A day later, Murmu was appointed as the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. Sinha is the third lieutenant governor appointed by the Bharatiya Janata Party in Jammu and Kashmir in three years. Murmu’s appointment was preceded by that of BJP leader Satya Pal Malik, who was transferred to Goa as governor after the Centre revoked Article 370 and bifurcated the former state into two Union Territories on August 5 last year.
“We need to establish a dialogue with the common people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Sinha told reporters after taking oath. “We don’t have any agenda in that, there will be no discrimination against anyone. Constitution will be Gita in that.”
Sinha said the process of direct dialogue will start in a few days. “There should be peace and stability in Jammu and Kashmir,” he added. “The situation of uncertainty should end, terrorism should end. Achieving all this along with accelerated development will be our aim, our mission.”
The lieutenant governor said August 5 is a very important day in the history of Jammu and Kashmir. “After years of isolation, Jammu and Kashmir joined the national mainstream,” Sinha said. “I have been told that many works which could not be completed in years have been completed in the past one year.”
Meanwhile, National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah did not attend Sinha’s oath-taking ceremony. Advisors to the previous lieutenant governors, including Farooq Khan and Baseer Khan, as well as senior bureaucrats and police officers were present at the function.
Sinha will be holding a meeting of all administrative secretaries later on Friday, an official told PTI. He has been a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party since 1989, a contender for the post of Uttar Pradesh chief minister and a member of Parliament.