Vohra appoints advisors, signals long central rule

Vohra appoints advisors, signals long central ruleTwo days after meeting the BJP and PDP, Jammu and Kashmir governor NN Vohra has appointed two advisers to help with administration in an indication of a long stint of Central rule in the state.

The advisers, retired Indian Administrative Service officers Pervez Devan and Khursheed Ganai, will have powers equivalent to cabinet ministers. Besides, senior-most bureaucrats in the government — Chief Secretary BR Sharma and financial Commissioner BB Viyas — shall also exercise powers as advisors, a senior officer told .

On Tuesday, Mr Vohra had met People’s Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti and BJP leaders and asked them to clarify their position. The 10-month rule by the two alliance partners had ended with the death of chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on January 7.
His daughter Mehbooba Mufti, who was to succeed him as the chief minister, has not taken oath and has signalled her displeasure with the BJP. She has said that PDP would stick to ideology, not power and sources said she is not even averse to going back to the people.

After Tuesday’s meeting with the Governor, she had said the Centre needs to take “new confidence-building measures for Jammu and Kashmir” for her to renew her party’s partnership with the BJP.

Dismissing her stance as playing up to her constituency, the BJP has asked the Governor for more time to work out the issue of government formation with PDP. The party has also said they have not received any specific demand from the PDP.

Following the assembly elections in 2014, the two ideologically opposite parties had taken nearly three months to bypass their differences and craft a common agenda of alliance with the help of Mufti.

Ms Mufti said she feared she did not enjoy the goodwill that her father did to be able to get the people to accept what is seen by many as an “unpopular decision” to partner with the BJP.