It is almost a year when administration of Jammu and Kashmir saw a change with Satya Pal Malik coming in place of N N Vohra who had the distinction of longest innings in the state. But the one year of Malik, a seasoned politician, has seen the changes people never thought of, has left the typical BJP water mark in the rule of civil administration. The state itself saw change in nomenclature with Union Territory (UT) coming into existence and Ladakh too getting UT status. The state now UT saw some of the big scam beginning with recruitment conducted by Public Service Commission, bungling of crores in state’s bank. These controversies remained in the forefront and consumed a good space in print as well as in visual media. Some of these issues rekindled hope of getting a corruption-free administration in the now union territory. The changeover had deeper inferences as the appointment of a person from a socialist background and not from the uniformed forces, as was being speculated earlier, reflects the Centre’s willingness to continue dialogue and engagement in the State, currently under President’s rule. Of late after the fall of PDP-BJP coalition government there have been some differences over the government formation between Governor and the Central leadership. The Centre was keen on it, but Vohra, who had handled the state four times between governments, was not. Now with the changeover Centre would be conducting panchayat elections so that grass-root democracy is established. The polls to urban local bodies and panchayats were also held up for a longtime under the garb of terrorism and disturbance in the state. Not only that, Article 35-A too remained a contentious issue for both. Sensing a growing unease in Kashmir about dangers of annulment of Article 35-A of the constitution, Governor N N Vohra had requested New Delhi to have the hearing of a case about the provision in Supreme Court deferred until an elected government is in place. On the other hand increasing differences between BJP leaders and Governor over the Article too widened the political chasm. Now with Satya Pal Malik on the helm what is to be seen is will the political process usher in normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir soon.
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