A politician of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was named the new lieutenant governor of Jammu and Kashmir early Thursday. 

The announcement by India’s presidential palace came a day after Jammu and Kashmir’s first lieutenant governor, Girish Chandra Murmu, resigned from his position on the day the region marked the first anniversary of India’s unilateral decision to scrap its semi-autonomous status.

On Thursday morning, a communique issued by the presidential palace said Murmu’s resignation has been accepted.

“The President has been pleased to appoint Shri Manoj Sinha to be the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office,” it said.

Sinha, a former minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government between 2014 and 2019, is a leader of the BJP. Unlike Murmu, who was a bureaucrat, the Modi government has chosen a politician to head the region.

Murmu was appointed as the first governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir on Oct. 31 last year, two months after India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. He took over from Satya Pal Malik, the last governor of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Disputed region

Jammu and Kashmir is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars – in 1948, 1965 and 1971 – including two over Kashmir.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence or unification with neighboring Pakistan.

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