Disapproving of Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina's comments on NN Vohra, Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said the former governor had been an outstanding officer throughout his tenure in office.
"The governor's is a constitutional post and he has to be impartial. NN Vohra has performed his duties with distinction and also maintained constitutional dignity," Rajnath Singh said, adding that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have appreciated the role of Mr Vohra as governor for 10 years.
Mr Singh's statement came after his party's Jammu and Kashmir chief was heard saying in a video that the BJP did not want to continue with Mr Vohra. In the clip, which was widely shared on Thursday, Mr Raina was seen bragging to people: "Ab jo Governor aya hai, woh hamara banda hai." (The new Governor is our man)."
Mr Vohra served as the governor of Jammu and Kashmir for last 10 years until the government announced that Satya Pal Malik would replace him. There were reports of differences between Mr Vohra and the centre on the formation of a new government in the state.
Mr Raina, a BJP legislator from Nowshera, is familiar with controversies. In 2015, he allegedly assaulted Independent legislator Engineer Rashid for hosting a "beef party".
Jammu and Kashmir has been under Governor's Rule since June 20, after the BJP ended its coalition government with Mehbooba Mufti's People's Democratic Party or PDP, saying it was "untenable" to continue because of security concerns and rising terrorism.
The home minister said new Governor Satya Pal Malik had a long political career. "Satya Pal Malik's long political experience will be beneficial for the people of Jammu and Kashmir," said Mr Singh.
Mr Malik, 71, a former lawmaker and BJP's national vice president, was sworn in as the 13th governor of Jammu and Kashmir earlier this month, which ended the five-decade-long practice of retired bureaucrats being appointed to the post.
Mr Vohra was a former Union Home and Defence Secretary besides being a principal secretary to former Prime Minister IK Gujral.