Taking the political circles by surprise, Meghalaya Governor Satya Pal Malik has been taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on various issues, especially the farmers’ agitation and handling of Kashmir, for some time now, writes Pawan Bansal
Meghalaya Governor Satya Pal Malik’s continuous tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on various issues, especially farmers’ agitation and sensitive Kashmir issue, have been creating a storm in the political and media circles. Throwing norms associated with a constitutional post to the winds, Malik is openly accusing Narender Modi of causing considerable damage to the interests of farmers and jawans of the country.
It is an open secret that some Governors in the past had indulged in toppling elected state governments at the instance of their political masters. Jagdeep Dhankhar, who is now the Vice-President of the country, during his stint as Governor of West Bengal had locked horns with the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee by openly criticising her for the poor law and order situation in the state.
The Governor is supposed to send his secret report about the state to the Home Minister instead of mentioning it publically. Three decades back, the then Haryana Governor, G.D.Tapase, had administered the oath of chief minister’s office to Bhajan Lal, despite his party, the Congress not enjoying a majority in the House. Interestingly, Tapase had a day earlier invited Devi Lal, leader of Lok Dal-BJP alliance, which was having majority support, to prove their strength before him. Tapase had given one month’s time to Bhajan Lal to prove his majority on the floor of house which he proved by engineering defections from opposite camp by luring the MLAs with ministerial posts. The Governor’s action had led to widespread resentment among followers of Devi Lal, so much so that one of them blackened Tapase’s face at a public function.
But Satya Pal Malik’s case is very strange as instead of dancing to the tune of his political masters, he has launched a tirade against his political mentor who had appointed him governor of Jammu and Kashmir, but was later shifted first to Goa and then to Meghalaya .
Malik, hailing from Western UP, started politics under the mentorship of late Ch Charan Singh and later he joined BJP and was considered a blue eyed boy of PM Narender Modi.
He was appointed Governor of Jammu and Kashmir and it goes to his credit that he ensured peaceful implementation of the Union Government’s decision to abolish Article 370. His role was hailed in the backdrop of the fact that the opposition leaders, Mehbooba Mufti and Farook Abdullah, had threatened serious consequences in case Article 370 was abolished .
Malik was getting wide publicity for tactfully handling the sensitive situation much to disliking Modi who after some time shifted him to Goa, a small state. From here, their relations started deteriorating. After sometime, he was shifted to Meghalaya. Malik alleged that a senior functionary of RSS had tried to influence him for clearing a file for tender amounting crores of rupees. The BJP government by not accepting the demands of agitating farmers further annoyed Malik and he started criticising Modi apparently aiming to save his vote bank which mainly consists of farmers. For proving his credentials as a pro farmer leader, he even invited them to visit Goa telling them that he will ensure their stay in the presidential suit in the Raj Bhawan .
Malik claims that he was given hints that if he kept mum and he would be made the vice-president but he declined. Recently, Jagdeep Dhankhar, former Governor of West Bengal was appointed as Vice-President which reportedly further annoyed Malik. At a social function in Rohtak in Haryana recently, Malik hit out at the Centre government saying that lives of the jawans in Kashmir had been ruined under Prime Minister Modi’s rule. At Nuh again, Haryana epicentre of farmers agitation in Haryana, Malik alleged that the scheme for farmers for MSP for farm produce has not seen the light of the day because of the business interests of Adani . Once Malik even alleged that farmers have to rise again to get their dues for MSP on crops accepted and even offered to join the agitation by resigning from his post.
Malik said, “If MSP is not given, then there will be another battle, and this time it will be a fierce fight as the government cannot frighten the farmers by ED and CBI.” But the people wonder why the government is not removing him from his post despite his open outburst against PM Modi. It is widely believed that the government does not want him to project himself as victim for fighting for farmers by removing from his post and is waiting for superannuation of his term.