Satya Pal Malik: First career politician to become J-K Guv

NEW DELHI: Newly-appointed Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik the first politician to become Jammu and Kashmir Governor in five decades.

Malik, 72, plans to establish direct contact with people of the state to understand the reason for their anger and address their issues.

“The Governor House will be made more accessible (to the public). I have also issued instructions that district collectors and two advisors should earmark at least one day in a week for public hearings,” he said.

Malik, a 1959-batch Punjab cadre IAS officer has formerly served as the minister of state for tourism and parliamentary affairs. He was also appointed as Bihar governor on October 4, 2017.

In an interview to a leading news agency, Malik said he is not going to J-K with a closed mind and fixed agenda and building trust in the militancy-hit state is his top concern.

“I am not going there (J-K) with a closed mind or a fixed agenda. We must look at the positive side. Kashmir football team recently defeated Mohun Bagan, Amarnath Yatra passed off peacefully. So, I will go and talk to people there and hear their issues,” Malik told to ANI.

In his tenure as Jammu and Kashmir Governor Malik will also meet political leaders of all hues. He said that dialogue with political leadership is not his mandate and this will be done by the Centre appointed interlocutor, Dineshwar Sharma.

“I will meet, greet and dine with political leaders but the dialogue is not my mandate. I am meeting interlocutor (Sharma) tomorrow and will take his feedback. I will hold dialogue with people of the state. Addressing the issues of the people is our main aim,” Malik said.

“I will go there to understand their issues, hold talks with different sections of society like teachers, lawyers and deal with the problems people are facing,” the politician from Uttar Pradesh added.

In a people-friendly move, the newly appointed J-K Governor has asked State Commissioners and Advisers to meet people at district headquarters once a week and resolve their grievances.

Malik also plans to go all out against corruption in allocation and utilization of funds from the Centre to State. He met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday in New Delhi after which the MLA funds for development that were frozen for some time now, have been defreezed.

“Corruption is a big issue there, so I will see how funds allocated by PM can be best utilized. Also, since the Assembly was in suspended animation, the MLA fund was frozen. I talked to PM and got it defrozen so that MLAs can spend the money on the development of their constituency. Now money will go to public and can be utilized for their welfare,” the Governor said.

Malik is confident of resolving the issue of stone-pelting by the youth in the state. “The incidents of stone-pelting have come down. Right now I am not in a position to say more but we are going to resolve issues,” he said. The Governor, who had a close association with late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, added that Vajpayee’s formula of insaniyaat is the only way out and Prime Minister Modi is also following the same path.