Satyapal Malik, whose J&K graft charges embarrassed Modi govt, left Goa due to corruption there, say sources
* Meghalaya governor Satyapal Malik sought a transfer from Goa Raj Bhavan due to rampant corruption in the state under the BJP government there, two sources have claimed
PANAJI: Incumbent Meghalaya governor Satyapal Malik – who has embarrassed the Modi government by alleging that he was offered bribes to clear files related to Ambani and an RSS functionary during his tenure as J&K governor – had sought a transfer from Goa due to rampant corruption in the state under the BJP government, two highly placed sources have told National Herald.
One of the sources, who worked closely with the former Jammu and Kashmir governor at Raj Bhawan in Srinagar and then in Panaji, told NH that, “Malik was not comfortable there (Goa)”. When asked why, the source attributed it to “interests of the BJP high command in complex Goa politics” which Malik “did not understand at all”.
Malik served as the governor of the coastal state for merely nine months – from 3 November 2019 to 8 August 2020 – before leaving for Meghalaya.
He was appointed governor of Meghalaya following his request, confirmed another source who is privy to the request put forth by the Jat leader.
Malik was appointed as the governor of Jammu and Kashmir in August 2018 and served in the position till October 2019. It was during his
tenure that Article 370 – which gave Jammu and Kashmir a special status – was abrogated by the Modi government.
Two months after the development, Malik was appointed as governor of Goa in November 2019, succeeding Mridula Sinha.
When asked if Meghalaya was given as a choice by Malik himself, one of the sources who claims to have known the socialist leader for decades, told NH, “He
did not give any choice…just sought transfer from Goa.”
Malik took charge of the state from then Meghalaya governor, Tathagat Roy in August 2020. An engineer-turned-academician and BJP leader, Tathagat Roy, stirred controversy for tweeting in support of Hindutva politics while serving as Meghalaya governor.
“He was more interested in active politics, and the BJP wanted him to contest next West Bengal elections…Malik was sent to Meghalaya,” said the source. On why Malik did not take action against those who were allegedly involved in corruption in Jammu and Kashmir, the source said, “The socialist leader was determined to uproot the corruption but then the state was trifurcated.”
“He set up a vigilance commission, took action against corrupt officials. Heads of various bodies involved in corruption were sent to jail but the bureaucracy did not act in tandem…They thought he was not going to stay in Jammu and Kashmir for more than six months,” he said.
Pertinently, months before Malik was appointed as governor of the state, the BJP-PDP government was in the power. PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti was the Chief Minister while BJP leader Nirmal Singh was the Deputy Chief Minister of the state. RSS leader Ram Madhav, who is regarded as the chief architect of the BJP-PDP alliance, was the RSS functionary in-charge of the state. Malik, without naming Ram Madhav, had hinted at his involvement in corruption.
However, when asked about this, the close confidant of Malik refused to comment, saying, “Everything cannot be discussed…What he had to say had been said already.”
Ram Madhav has launched a counterattack, called for an investigation into files cleared and “deals” made during the tenure of Satyapal Malik as governor.
NH tried to reach out to Malik for his comments but was told that, “He does not have anything to add to it as what he wanted to say has been said already.”