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Gujarat-cadre officer Girish Chandra Murmu has been appointed as the first lieutenant-governor of Jammu and Kashmir. Murmu replaces J&K governor , who has been sent to Goa to replace .

Murmu, 59, an IAS officer of 1985 batch, worked as Modi’s additional principal secretary during his tenure as Gujarat chief minister. He was due for retirement on November 30.

According to a government note, he will be administered oath of office on October 31 in Srinagar after which he will be the administrative head of Kashmir and Jammu provinces.

Murmu, who enjoys special working rapport with Shah, will be the ears and eyes of Modi-Shah duo in J&K as BJP leadership endeavours to restore normalcy in the high-stakes, strife-hit Union territory.

Murmu’s appointment comes as no surprise to many as his close association with both Modi and Shah dates back to over a decade. A silent and industrious worker, Murmu earned confidence of Modi and Shah as joint and additional secretary home and CMO between 2008 and 2014 when Modi helmed the state.

With the appointment of Murmu, the tenure of advisors to the Jammu and Kashmir Governor – K Vijay Kumar, Khursheed Ganai, K Sikandan and K K Sharma – may come to an end as all of them are seniors in service to the new Lt Governor.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and state ministers congratulated Odisha- born IAS officer Girish Chandra Murmu over his appointment as the first Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Congratulate #Odisha born IAS officer Girish Chandra Murmu being appointed as first Lt Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. Best wishes for this new responsibility,” the chief minister tweeted.

Among others, Odisha Assembly Speaker S N Patro and Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister R P Swain also extended their wishes to Murmu.

“My best wishes to Shri Girish Chandra Murmu on being appointed as the Lt Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. Glad to know his connection with Odisha,” he said in a statement.

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