New Delhi, April 14: Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Vijay Kapoor is tipped to take over from Girish Saxena as Governor of Jammu and Kashmir when his term expires on May 2.
No official announcement has been made so far, but the Centre is said to have forwarded Kapoor’s name to chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed who has reportedly approved the appointment.
A close aide of Mufti said Kapoor was known to the chief minister as he had served as chief secretary of the state around the time the People’s Democratic Party leader was Union home minister. The chief minister has given the green signal and an announcement is likely to be made shortly.
Kapoor has close ties with the BJP and deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani. The chief minister, however, has okayed the appointment as he has an excellent personal rapport with Kapoor.
Mufti had earlier wanted a politician to replace Saxena, as he felt it was time to do away with former army generals or IB and RAW chiefs as Governor of this sensitive frontier state. The chief minister and his aides believe the state needs a political Governor, a man who will not see Kashmir as a mere law and order problem. The chief minister, while preferring a politician, had indicated that he would not say no to a civil servant.
Mufti’s emphasis on a bureaucrat was because he wanted R.K. Takkar, another retired chief secretary of the state and a personal friend, to come in as Governor. The chief minister is extremely close to Takkar who is also his bridge partner. But Takkar was not acceptable to North Block. Home ministry officials believe that in a state where the administration is seemingly ‘soft’ to militants, it would be suicidal to have another ‘softie’.
The Congress, Mufti’s coalition partner in the state, is not too happy about Kapoor’s appointment. As lieutenant governor of Delhi, Kapoor has had running battles with Congress chief minister Sheila Dikshit and the party’s leaders in the state regard Kapoor as a pro-BJP man.