According to a report by The Indian Express, Malik, who was the Bihar governor then, said that PM Modi told him, "You will get good advisors and administrators, go and work in J&K."
Newly appointed Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik was informed about his new assignment by Prime Minister Narendra Modi just hours before the public announcement on August 21. According to a report by The Indian Express, Malik, who was the Bihar governor then, said that PM Modi told him, “You will get good advisors and administrators, go and work in J&K.”
Revealing the urgency, Malik said the Prime Minister informed him that the name had to be announced the same evening as NN Vohra was already back in Delhi by that time. “The name had to be announced that evening because Vohra saheb (predecessor N N Vohra) had already come to Delhi and not a single day’s gap could be left,” Malik told IE, adding that the Centre may announce key measures for the state in a few days.
Looking forward to his new assignment, Malik asserted that he wants a system free of “casteism, no favours and no sifarish (recommendation)”. “I want to bring in a system where there is no casteism, no favours and no sifarish (recommendation). What I want to do is create a corridor of faith…I want people to feel that the J&K Government can come to their doorstep,” Malik said.
Malik has already swung into action and restarted the release of funds under the MLA’s Local Area Development Scheme, which had apparently been stopped when the BJP government discontinued its alliance with the Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP alliance in June. “There had been resentment among the MLAs over this…they are entitled to this and yesterday I got this done,” he said.
Malik has also been briefed about the demands of the state police, which include funds for building safe housing clusters for police personnel, compensation to families of policemen. “A lot is going to be announced…the new job is a challenge but even if I can make an inch of improvement, I will feel I have done something in my life,” he said.
About Satya Pal Malik
The 72-year-old will be the first career politician to be appointed as Governor of the state after Karan Singh, who held the post from 1965 to 1967. Before this, Singh was Sadar-e-Riyasat after the state was annexed with Indian union. Malik had served as the Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Tourism and held many important positions in central and Uttar Pradesh state governments.
He has also served as a Rajya Sabha MP for two terms and as a Lok Sabha MP from 1989 to 1990. Malik was also a Member of Uttar Pradesh Assembly from 1974 to 1977. In his political career, he has also been the Chairman and member of many parliamentary committees.
His appointment ends the over 10-year tenure of Vohra, who took over the reins of the state on June 25, 2008, at a difficult time when Jammu and Kashmir was facing the Amarnath agitation. The militancy-hit state is currently under the Governor’s rule after the BJP withdrew support from its alliance partner PDP in June this year.
Malik, who has been associated with Bhartiya Kranti Dal, Lok Dal, Congress and Janata Dal and the BJP during his political career, will be heading the administration of the state.