SRINAGAR: With BJP denying Rajya Sabha ticket to its Muslim face and Union minister Mukhtar
Abbas Naqvi, speculations are rife that he may be posted as the Lt Governor of Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory.
There is a growing buzz in J&K that Naqvi, who is the prominent Muslim face of the saffron party, may take over as the constitutional head of J&K after the conclusion of Amarnath Yatra in August. Naqvi’s RS term is expiring and the party has neither given him RS ticket nor shown any inclination to field him from any of the vacant LS seats.
Naqvi, who is currently the Union Minister of Minority Affairs, has been familiar with Kashmir. He had campaigned for party candidates in the 2014 assembly and 2020 DDC polls in the Valley. Naqvi was the first of the five Union ministers to visit J&K after Article 370 was revoked and J&K state was bifurcated into two UTs.
The talk of possible change in guard in J&K has come after the targeted killings by militants in the Valley. It is being said that the Centre is unhappy with the L-G administration over the targeted killings. Political observers say that with the first-ever assembly elections in J&K Union Territory likely to be held soon, the Modi government may go for change of guard in the UT and Naqvi’s appointment may be seen as an effort by the BJP to reach out to the Muslim population.
However, a BJP leader said L-G’s is a constitutional post and it does not matter whether the person is a Hindu or Muslim. “The person who comes out with good policies will have a positive impact on the people,” he said. However, some political observers say that BJP is too “secretive” when it comes to nominating persons for top posts.