SRINAGAR: The Kashmir Valley is without any representation in the administrative council- the highest decision-making body of the Union Territory- for the past one month.
J&K’s administrative council, which exercises the powers of a cabinet in absence of an elected regime, lacks representation from Kashmir after former IAS officer Baseer Ahmad Khan was relieved from the post, last month.
Presently, the administrative council headed by LG comprises two members- Farooq Ahmad Khan (a former IPS officer of J&K cadre) and Rajeev Rai Bhatanagar (a former IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre).
“This is the second time after June 2018 that Kashmir Valley doesn’t have any representation in the highest-decision making body of the UT. After re-organisation of Jammu and Kashmir, there was no representation to Kashmir for more than four months in the body,” official sources said.
After the imposition of the Governor’s rule in J&K in June 2018, NN Vohra had appointed Khursheed Ahmad Ganie, a former IAS officer from Kashmir, as his advisor, apparently to give representation to Valley in the decision-making.
Ganie had resigned from the post of Chief Information Commissioner to take up the coveted assignment.
After the reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir, all advisors were deemed to have been relieved from responsibilities. But later Centre retained Farooq Khan and Kewal Kumar Sharma as advisors to LG GC Murmu. However, Sharma was appointed as State Election Commissioner ahead of the district development council polls in J&K in 2020
In March 2020, Baseer Ahmad Khan was appointed as an advisor to LG Murmu. On October 5, 2021, Khan was relieved from the responsibility. After Khan’s exit, it was widely reported that many names were under consideration of the Government of India for appointment as an advisor to LG.
It is worthwhile to mention that an advisor exercises the powers of a minister in absence of an elected government in J&K. He is also part of the administrative council—(KNO)