In a surprise move, the BJP-led Government has decided to requisition the services of the veteran intelligence officer of yesteryears, Mr Girish Chander Saxena to take over as Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.
Saxena It will be the second gubernatorial stint for Mr Sexana, popularly known as Garry Saxena, in the sensitive border State. He had earlier been the Governor from 1990 to 1993, when the State was in the grip of heightened militant activity.
The Centre has also finalized names of Governor of Bihar and Rajasthan. BJP veteran Sunder Singh Bhandari is tipped to be the next Governor of Bihar, replacing Dr A. R. Kidwai, who is being shifted to West Bengal.
For Rajasthan, the Government has chosen Mr Darbara Singh senior Akali leader and former Speaker of the Punjab Assembly. Mr Singh who earlier represented Jalandhar Lok Sabha constituency as an Akali MP had vacated his seat in favour of the former Prime Minister I. K. Gujral in the last Parliamentary polls.
The names of the four new Governors were sent to the President late this evening. A formal announcement from the Rashtrapati Bhavan is expected tomorrow.
The reappointment of Garry Saxena as J&K Governor assumes significance in the light of his vast experience in handling sensitive jobs in the various intelligence outfits, including Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), in the Cabinet Secretariat.
Mr Saxena had earlier replaced the controversial J&K Governor Mr Jagmohan on May 26, 1990 following the tragic killing of 54 persons at Hawal near Srinagar in the aftermath of the assassination of Mir-Waiz Moulana Farooq on May 21 that year.
The new J&K Governor is credited with having fine-tuned the counter-insurgency operations in the State by revamping the intelligence network leading to greater inflow of information from among the militant ranks.
Mr Saxena's name is reported to have been finalized by the Home Minister Lal Krishna Advani after discussions with the State Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah during his day-long visit to the State yesterday.
In a coincidence of sorts, Mr Saxena will replace Gen (retd) K. V. Krishna Rao, who completed his term on March 11 this year.
Gen. Rao had taken over from Garry Saxena on March 12, 1993.
All the vacant slots of Governors have now been filled by the BJP-led Government following today's finalization of the names of the four new Governors.
One vacant slot the Lt. Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is to be filled soon, sources said. Mr I. K. Gupta had earlier tendered his resignation as Lt. Governor of the island along with three Governors and three Lt. Governors.
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