J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik.

Centre Would Have Asked Me to Make Sajjad Lone the CM: J&K Guv

Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Governor Satya Pal Malik on Tuesday, 27 November, made an explosive claim saying the Centre would have wanted him to make Sajjad Lone the chief minister of the state, but he didn’t do that as he did not want to go down in history as “a dishonest man”.

“If I'd turned towards Delhi, I would have had to invite Sajjad Lone to form government and history would have seen me as a dishonest man. That is why I closed that door. Those who want to speak ill of me, they can. But I am convinced that whatever I did was correct,” he said.

He was addressing students of the ITM University.

Confirming his remark, he said the push for Sajjad would have been justified as he has the numbers.

“Whatever I said is right. Sajjad Lone has the numbers, obviously Delhi will push for him,” the governor told News18.

Malik has reinforced his allegations against Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti and National Conference (NC) chief Omar Abdullah for not showing seriousness in forming the government.

“If PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti and NC leader Omar Abdullah were serious about forming a government (by joining hands) in Jammu and Kashmir, they should have rung me up, or sent me a letter” Governor Malik said.

“It was an Eid holiday and this is an auspicious day. Did they expect the governor to stand by the fax machine and wait for their fax?”
Satya Pal Malik, Governor, Jammu and Kashmir

The governor said that he took the decision of dissolving the assembly without seeking any advice or direction or holding any discussion with Delhi. He clarified that as per the state Constitution, he did not have to take permission from the president or Parliament.

"I returned at 4 PM from Delhi and I got a briefing from intelligence officials about the situation. I found it needless to talk to Delhi, because two days ago I had met them all,” Governor Malik said.

Explaining his move to dissolve the Assembly, Malik said, "I was watching this all for past 15 days. I was confident that no one had majority. If I would have called one side, there would have been a major drama. There would have been use of money and it would have created a chaos.”

‘Not Convinced,’ Says Opposition

Reacting to the Governor’s speech in Madhya Pradesh, Omar Abdullah said in a tweet that he has never known a “politically appointed governor going against the wishes of the Centre”.

However, minutes after the tweet, Abdullah tweeted congratulating the governor for “not looking to Delhi and for not taking their instructions.”

Contrary to Malik’s move of dissolving the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah said the governor should have given the parties wanting to form the government a chance, instead of dissolving the Assembly.

“He (Malik) has to defend himself in front of the government in Delhi, and you know what the government is all about. The Assembly should have seen who has the majority. It cannot be decided in the Raj Bhawan. Why didn’t they dissolve the Assembly earlier?” Abdullah told News18.

Malik’s comments come amid political turmoil in J&K and accusations of him being the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ‘puppet’.

People’s Conference leader Sajjad Lone had staked claim on the formation of the Jammu and Kashmir government in alliance with the BJP after a coalition of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), National Conference (NC) and the Congress approached Malik to stake their claim.

After the two coalitions approached Malik to form the government in the state, he elected to dissolve the state government.

According to INS, he said both the PDP and Sajjad had ‘no numbers’ to form the government as nobody among them came forward with their numbers. He added that if either side had managed to form government, it would have deteriorated the situation prevailing in the Valley for past several months.