Ahmed Ali FayyazSRINAGAR: With most of the people speculating who of the Advisors of Governor would be disengaged to keep the number within four over the appointment of Farooq Khan, Governor Satya Pal Malik is likely to retain all the five and add one more to make it six. Highly placed authoritative sources revealed to STATE TIMES that Governor Malik was unlikely to relieve any one of his existing Advisors upon joining of Khan, possibly on Wednesday or Thursday next. Khan’s appointment as Advisor to J&K Governor has triggered speculations that one of the four existing Advisors could be relieved. Sources insisted that there was very remote possibility of the disengagement of any of the Advisors. According to these sources, there was a “strong possibility” that Governor Malik could pick up yet another Advisor, most likely from Ladakh. Sources said that a retired Kashmiri IAS officer, who reached superannuation on a position equivalent to Chief Secretary and subsequently served a term as Chairman of J&K Public Service Commission, was considered for the post of Advisor in 2018 but the idea was dropped after Khursheed Ahmad Ganai was chosen for his second stint as Advisor to Governor in Jammu and Kashmir. A major reshuffle in portfolios of the Advisors is possible immediately after Khan’s joining in Srinagar later this week. It is being keenly watched whether K Vijay Kumar would retain the all-important Home portfolio or it would be assigned to Khan who has put in over 30 years of his service in J&K Police and played a key role in wiping out terrorism and making the Assembly elections possible, along with his team of counterinsurgent Police officers, in 1996. Retired IPS officer Khan, who among the five Advisors is the only one who has been an active member and leader of the ruling BJP at the Centre, has been shifted to his home State in the middle of his tenure as Administer of Lakshadweep. Among rest four, K.K. Sharma is a retired IAS officer and resident of Jammu, Khursheed Ganai is retired IAS officer and a resident of Kashmir, K Skandan is a retired IAS officer andK Vijay Kumar is a retired IPS officer. With this, currently Governor Malik has two Advisors from Jammu, one from Kashmir and two from outside Jammu and Kashmir. Expansion of the State Administrative Council, which is headed by Governor, to seven members, would come as an indication of the Assembly elections being pushed to the year 2020. However, if the number of Advisors is retained as four, holding of Assembly elections could be speculated in October-November 2019.
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