Manoj Sinha, a senior leader of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and a former federal minister, was today appointed as the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir replacing a seasoned bureaucrat, in a significant change for the region, which lost its special constitutional status a year ago.
A communique issued by the Indian president's secretariat said the resignation of Girish Chandra Murmu as Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir has been accepted.
The communique said, "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."
The change of Lt Governor came a year after Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 371 of the constitution was scrapped and the area lost its status as a state and turned into a federally-ruled territory.
Sinha's appointment is being viewed as an attempt by the Indian government to help restore the political process in Jammu and Kashmir which has remained stalled for the last one year with many senior politicians in detention.
Murmu, an officer of the 1985 batch of Indian Administrative Service, was a bureaucrat handpicked at a time when New Delhi was looking for a seasoned administrator to navigate Jammu and Kashmir through drastic changes.
Sinha, 61, who hails from India's most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, has been actively involved in working for the backward villages in his home state.
His political career started when he was elected the president of Banaras Hindu University Students Union in 1982 and was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1996 and was re-elected in 1999.
Sinha has been a member of the BJP National Council from 1989 to 1996 and was elected to the Lok Sabha for a third term when the BJP swept the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.
He was former minister of state for railways and later held an independent charge of Ministry of Communication.