Want to accelerate development in Jammu and Kashmir: LG Manoj Sinha

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Manoj Sinha, the former union minister was on Friday sworn in as the new lieutenant governor of Jammu and Kashmir, the first political leader to take charge of the region.

The 61-year-old was administered the oath of office by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Justice Gita Mittal at a simple function in the Raj Bhavan.

“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. I have been told that many works which could not be completed in years have been completed in the past one year,” Mr. Sinha was quoted as saying by news gathering agency Press Trust of India.

“I want to accelerate that development,” he added.

Sinha succeeds former IAS officer Girish Chandra Murmu, who resigned on Wednesday night and was appointed Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on Thursday.

The National Conference stayed away from the ceremony for which both Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah were invited.

The National Conference has said the process of democracy should begin by releasing their detained leaders as well as former chief minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti.

On August 5, they were not allowed to meet. “Two days later, we are asked to participate in the oath taking ceremony,” an NC leader said.

Advisors to the previous lieutenant governors, including Farooq Khan and Baseer Khan, as well as senior bureaucrats and policemen were present at the function in the Raj Bhavan, at the foothills of the Zaberwan range.

Rajya Sabha member Nazir Ahmed Laway, BJP Lok Sabha member Jugal Kishore Sharma and Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party leader Ghulam Hasan Mir were also present.

Known as ”vikas purush” (development man), Sinha is a three-time Lok Sabha MP who was minister of state for communication in 2016 when the telecom industry was engaged in the sale of spectrum. He was elected to the lower house for the first time in 1996 and then in 1999 and 2014. However, he lost the election from Ghazipur in 2019.

A B.Tech in civil engineering from the Institute of Technology (now known as IIT-BHU), Sinha has been credited with overcoming the menace of call dropping by holding widespread consultations with telecom operators.

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