Centre to shortly take call on Lt Guvs, Advisors for UTs

Names of Malik, Mishra, Kumar under consideration

CS to continue in J&K, Ladakh to have new

Neeraj Rohmetra

JAMMU, Sept 30: With just a month left for formation of two Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, the Central Government is expected to shortly take a call on whether to have two Lieutenant Governors for the two UTs or give charge of both to one LG while Advisors were also likely to be reshuffled with chances of some new Advisors taking over and some existing being dropped.
“The Central Government was examining the possibility of whether to go ahead with existing Governor Satya Pal Malik by making him Lieutenant Governor of both the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh as he has done good job in tackling situation in the State especially in the Kashmir valley post abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the State into two UTs” official sources told the Excelsior.
However, they said, much would depend on Malik whether he agrees to stay as the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory with additional charge of Ladakh as the post of LG is much below in protocol than the Governor.
Names of Nripendra Mishra, former Principal Secretary of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Advisor to J&K Governor, Incharge Home, K Vijay Kumar were also under consideration for the posts of Lieutenant Governors of J&K and Ladakh Union Territories among others.
Nripendra Mishra, a 1977 batch Uttar Pradesh cadre civil servant, was most trusted lieutenant of the Prime Minister handling key position as the Principal Secretary for five years in Modi 1.0.
K Vijay Kumar, a retired IPS officer had served as Director General of Central Reserve Police Force and Security Advisor to the Ministry of Home Affairs before being posted as the Advisor to Jammu and Kashmir Governor with charge of prestigious Home Department.
Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will formally become the two Union Territories on October 31. The Lieutenant Governors of the two UTs had to take oath the same day, sources pointed out.
Sources, however, confirmed that Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam will continue as the CS of Jammu and Kashmir UT while Ladakh UT could get the new Chief Secretary. Exercise for posting of new Secretaries and other officers in the Union Territory of Ladakh is on, they said, adding that new postings will be announced immediately after creation of the UT.
Governor Satya Pal Malik presently has five Advisors including K Vijay Kumar, Khurshid Ganai, SK Sharma, K Skandan and Farooq Khan.
Sources said number of the Advisors to be posted with Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir could be less and there was also a possibility that some new faces might be inducted and some existing Advisors could be dropped.
The Lieutenant Governor of J&K will have Advisors till elections to the Legislative Assembly are held and new Chief Minister is elected as J&K UT has been given Legislature with 90 seats. However, the Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh will have Advisors permanently as it hasn’t been granted Legislature.
“Number of the Advisors to both the Lieutenant Governors will be restricted to two or three,” sources said, adding the Advisors were required to keep the State Administrative Council (SAC) functional in J&K UT till the Legislature is in place with the Chief Minister having his Council of Ministry.
Sources said the present Advisors were lobbying with functionaries of the Central Government for their retention when the State will split into two UTs.
The new Advisors in J&K and Ladakh UTs will be appointed under Section 58 of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill of 2019.
BJP leader Dr Nirmal Singh will, however, continue as the Speaker till his successor is elected after elections to the Legislative Assembly. However, the Legislative Council will cease to exist on October 31.
Following posting of 2010 batch IPS officer of AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram Union Territories) cadre, Sagar Singh Kalsi in the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Jammu and Kashmir, sources said some more AGMUT cadre officers could be posted in the two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
Sources said the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh might undergo some more changes once they formally become the UTs on October 31 and various teams of the Central Government including the Home Ministry were on the job.