Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra has left Raj Bhawan at a time when a massive public uprising has paralysed the state government. Vohra has cited personal reasons to travel to the United States where his daughter resides, but insiders say that there is more to his departure at this crucial juncture than it is given to understand.
An official in the Raj Bhawan confirmed that the Governor has left for the US for “a few days” on a personal visit. Before the departure, he held a meeting in New Delhi on the ongoing Amarnath yatra that has hit a snag due to the volatile situation in Kashmir. The arrival of pilgrims has reduced to a trickle.
Vohra, an old Kashmir hand, who has been effectively engaged by successive regimes in New Delhi in Kashmir after his illustrious bureaucratic career, was the only Governor who remained untouched by the Narendra Modi-led government. However, sources said that of late Vohra has grown disillusioned with New Delhi’s policy over Kashmir. He is also said to be annoyed by the ineffectiveness of the state government in managing the situation.
The 80-year-old Vohra took over as Governor in June 2008 at the height of the public uprising against the transfer of state land to the Amarnath Shrine Board. After chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad’s resignation on July 7, 2008, Vohra took charge of the state and controlled the uprising, paving the way for assembly elections to be held.
Governor Vohra also played a crucial role in quelling another public uprising in 2010 when the Omar Abdullah-led government went on a killing spree. 120 persons, mostly teenagers, were killed by the police and paramilitary during the summer. Sources said that Vohra
was the main link between New Delhi and the state apparatus in their coordination on the occasions of both the uprisings.
However, this time, Vohra is disillusioned by the functioning of both the state and the federal government. He has expressed dismay over the
policies adopted by the central government over Kashmir and sources said that he is not happy with the conduct of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti whom he has describing as “amateurish, emotional and lacking confidence.”
“I had a one-on-one meeting with the Governor a few days after the killing of Burhan Wani. He was very upset and said many things about the functioning of the state government,” a senior citizen told Kashmir Reader, requesting to be not identified.
He said that the Governor had no hope from Mehbooba Mufti as he referred to several of her inept statements and inappropriate emotional outbursts.
Source said that the Governor had stopped counselling the state government over the interventions required to manoeuvre through the complex turmoil, much before he left for the US.
A former union home and defence secretary, Vohra was handpicked by former Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in 2003 as his interlocutor on Kashmir. During his position as New Delhi’s special representative in Kashmir, Vohra had covert interactions with several
pro-freedom leaders. These interventions qualified him to be the Governor of the sensitive state.
Sources said that Vohra’s coldness may cut short his second tenure. His possible replacement, who may well be a more active Hindutva agent, may raise new political issues over Jammu and Kashmir, observers say.