Srinagar: Governor NN Vohra has restarted taking keen interest in state affairs, especially the law and order situation in Kashmir. The governor had developed serious differences with Mehbooba Mufti’s government and had even left Raj Bhawan for an overseas tour when the situation was getting out of control in Kashmir.
On Thursday, Governor Vohra held a long meeting with Mehbooba Mufti to discuss the “internal security situation”. Earlier, Mehbooba called upon the governor before the arrival of the all-party delegation of Indian parliamentarians on September 4.
Before he met Mehbooba, the governor called to Raj Bhawan the commander of XV Corps, Lt Gen Satish Dua, who is also the security advisor to the chief minister, and also police chief K Rajendra, who briefed him on the prevailing situation in Kashmir.
Before today, there were indications that Mehbooba and Vohra were not on the same page. Vohra privately maintained that Mehbooba’s response to the situation that arose in the aftermath of Burhan Wani’s killing, was amateurish and bereft of plan. Sources said that the governor had conveyed his observations to New Delhi.
Mehbooba, on her part, defended her position and held the governor responsible for the situation in the Valley. Sources said that Mehbooba prevailed upon the relevant quarters in New Delhi that it were the controversial decisions taken by the State Administrative Council (SAC) headed by Vohra, an equivalent of state cabinet, during Governor’s Rule in Kashmir between January 8 and April 4, that had angered the people of Kashmir. Among the SAC’s controversial ordinances were the New Industrial Policy and the infamous SRO 105.
Last month, media reports suggested that Mehbooba had asked New Delhi to replace Vohra, who is due to complete his term in June 2018. Vohra took over as J&K Governor at the peak of the Amarnath land row in 2008. The UPA-II government gave him a second term in 2013. Sources said that initially, a section in New Delhi’s power corridors mulled on the idea to replace the governor but the unrest in the Valley put paid to that prospect. On August 31, an Indian newspaper quoting a top government official reported that Vohra’s exit had been put on hold “as of now”. The report coincided with Vohra’s sudden trip to New Delhi where he met several important leaders dealing with Kashmir.
Former chief minister Omar Abdullah reacted to the development with a tweet, “The problem with the “as of now” formulation is the uncertainty it creates at a time when clarity/certainty (is) needed.”
Sources said that Vohra’s renewed interest in Kashmir affairs has occurred after a “patch-up” between him and Mehbooba, in which New Delhi has played a mediatory role.