Political Advisors in J&K, a possibility?


Sushil Sharma

As new Lt Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha has assumed charge, there are rumours all around that he might have political persons as his advisors soon. A few names like that of Sunil Sharma, Kavinder Gupta, Sat Sharma have been doing the rounds on social media. Whether there is any fire to this smoke, is yet to be found out. It could just be a big hoax like that of Apni Party’s leaders making an administrative council. Social media had even announced the dates of the swearing-in ceremony which passed without any change in the administrative setup.
But often such rumours are sparked as a way to grasp whether the prospect is worth exploring or not. The inaccessibility of the advisors of former Lt Governor of J&K, Girish Chandra Murmu was a common grievance of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It was seen that the common man found Advisor Farooq Khan more reachable and acceptable as compared to other advisors. The reason was simple, he is a son of the soil and secondly, he has a political background. He joined a political party after his retirement as an IPS officer from J&k state. What makes Farooq Khan approachable, may be what inspires the new Lt Governor to have political people in his advisory council.
In past, when G.C Murmu took charge, only two advisors of the last Governor of J&K state continued with him. Now that a top-class politician has assumed office, it is possible that he would appoint some political persons as his advisors or a new advisory council can be set up which could contain some political names from Jammu and Kashmir. If rumours become reality, then there is a possibility that some of the names from BJP may get the chance to become members of the new advisory council.
Names of BJP leaders like Sunil Sharma, Dr. D.K Manyal, Shakti Parihar, R.S Pathania, Sat Sharma, Kavinder Gupta etc are the ones being highlighted on social media despite the fact that they’ve been ex-MLAs and Ministers and anti-incumbency plays a negative role over their acceptance. Furthermore, people of Jammu are showing growing resentments for Bhartiya Janata Party so the prospect of political advisors from BJP might not be what the public of Jammu wants. But since the Lt Governor himself is a BJP stalwart, he would find it easy to find political advisors from the party itself.
As far as Kashmir division is considered, some members of JKAP, JKPC or some members of civil society might get a chance to represent Kashmir division in the new advisory council. But it the process of choosing the right man for the job is going to be tough since top mainstream parties like NC and PDP would refuse to compromise with this type of advisory council, and new parties or small parties like Apni Party or People Conference don’t have much credibility in the public of Kashmir.
Whatever the case may be, the consequences of the new developments will be faced by the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir is a new Union Territory and has never seen such a situation before. From the last one year, people of J&K found it a tiring job to reach the right quarters with their demands or grievances. It will easier for the public to tell their grievances to these political persons rather than those who have followed the bureaucratic approach so far.
In the next few days or few weeks, everything will clear out about this new advisory council but one thing is for sure, there’s never a dull day in the politics of Jammu and Kashmir.


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