The elevation of former Railway Minister Manoj Sinha, a three time MP, as the new Lt Governor of Jammu and Kashmir is seen as a political move of the BJP to woo the upper caste voters, particularly the Bhumihars, in the ensuing crucial Bihar assembly elections later this year.
Sinha, a prominent Bhumihar leader of eastern Uttar Pradesh close to Bihar, was also a front runner for the post of Uttar Pradesh chief minister after the Bharatiya Janata Party won the state assembly elections in 2017 but failed in the last leg against Yogi Adityanath.
The former Minister of State for Railways is also considered to be close to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sinha was defeated by Afzal Ansari, brother of don-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. After his defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, there were speculation of Sinha getting Rajya Sabha seat from UP but it was denied.
Sinha is the fourth politician of Uttar Pradesh to be appointed as the constitutional head of the state. Kalraj Mishra is Governor of Rajasthan, Phagu Chauhan of Bihar, Baby Rani Maurya of Uttarakhand and now Sinha of J&K.
Lalji Tandon, who was Governor of MP, and died recently, was also from UP.
The IIT-BHU alumnus earned the sobriquet of Vikas Purush among the locals of Ghazipur when he was the Railway minister in the Narendra Modi 1.0 government .
The three-time BJP MP from Ghazipur constituency went for admission in civil engineering at the Banaras Hindu University in mid-1970s during the Emergency era. Soon after this Sinha became an active member of Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party. By the age of 23, in the year 1982, Sinha stepped into student politics and became the president of BHU.
He contested his first Lok Sabha election in 1998 from Ghazipur constituency and then repeated his win in 1999. The third time Manoj Sinha won from Ghazipur Lok Sabha constituency was in 2014 during the Modi wave. He was made minister and was named as the star campaigner of the BJP during the 2017 UP Assembly polls.