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Manoj Sinha takes oath as new Lieutenant Governor of J&K

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Srinagar: Newly appointed Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha on Friday took oath at Raj Bhavan here.

The oath was administered by Chief Justice of J & K High Court, Gita Mittal.

 

Born on July 1, 1959, Sinha was Minister of Communications (independent charge) and Minister of State (MoS), Railways during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first term. Sinha is a three-time BJP MP from parliamentary constituency of Ghazipur in eastern Uttar Pradesh. He was defeated by Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) Afzal Ansari in 2019 Lok Sabha poll.

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Photo: KM/Umar Ganie

Pertinently, Manoj Sinha, a senior BJP leader and former Union Minister, was appointed as Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir after Girish Chandra Murmu resigned Wednesday.

Murmu has been appointed as the new Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India.

BJP leader in Uttar Pradesh, Sinha is a politician who enjoys the trust of both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.

Among the many things he is known for, this Bhumihar face of the BJP was speculated to be an almost certain choice of the BJP as UP Chief Minister before the party sprang a surprise with Yogi Adityanath. But Sinha never complained and that, many believe, has weighed in.

Sinha wore many hats – a former Minister of State for Railways, an IIT graduate, a man who transformed Ghazipur with his developmental initiatives. Sinha climbed the organisational ladder from the ABVP during his student days at Benaras Hindu University to the man in 2017 who was followed vigorously by TV cameras, almost certain to be UP Chief Minister. In fact, his journey from being a member of the BJP’s National Council in 1989 to J&K Lieutenant Governor has been a fascinating ride.

Many believe that very few lawmakers in the Hindi heartland took Modi’s ‘Vikas’ call as seriously as Sinha. This is why, after winning three times from Ghazipur and confident of a comeback banking high on his reputation as ‘Mr Development’, it stunned many when he lost to Afzal Ansari, the brother of politician Mukhtar Ansari, by a margin of 1.19 lakh votes.

But what made the cut this time for the former BHU student leader and IIT alumnus was his perceived clean image. The ex-civil engineer hardly courted controversy nor made any statements to the media that embarrassed his party or the government. But mostly, the man with a mass base is seen as non-corrupt which played a key role in him being picked as J&K L-G at a time when the Centre is keen to flush out corrupt ‘babus’.