Told about job 2 hours before announcement, says J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik, want sifarish-free system

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik at his New Delhi home Tuesday. (Photo: Praveen Jain)

Satya Pal Malik, veteran politician who has been appointed Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, has said that he was informed about his new assignment just two hours before the public announcement on August 21. In a freewheeling interview to The Indian Express Tuesday, he said, “The Prime Minister called me and said you will get good advisors and administrators, go and work in J&K. So I have come to the morcha (front).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…”

At present in Delhi where he held consultations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh among others, Malik indicated that some key announcements were shortly to be made in Delhi.

“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.”

Among the “early initiatives” mentioned by Malik today were a continuation of the release of funds under the MLA’s Local Area Development Scheme, which had apparently been stopped when the BJP Government broke 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.

The Governor said that before he met with Home Minister Rajnath Singh yesterday, he had been briefed on some pressing demands of the J&K police. Among those which he indicated have got “in-principle” clearance is funds for construction of safe housing clusters for police personnel, of which there has been an acute shortage.

Along with this, the compensation families of J&K policemen will get in case of a fatality during operations will be enhanced and brought on par with the compensation package received by bereaved families of Army and CRPF personnel.

“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.