Newly-appointed Jammu and Kashmir governor, Satya Pal Malik said, in an interview with The Indian Express, that he was informed about his new assignment just two hours before the public announcement on August 21.
“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,” he said.
Malik stated that some ‘key announcements’ would soon be made in Delhi, after his meeting with Home Minister of India, Rajnath Singh.
“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,” he said.
One of the key announcements, Malik said, was to continue releasing funds under the MLA’s Local Area Development Scheme which had been stopped after the BJP-PDP coalition broke.
“There had been resentment among the MLAs over this…they are entitled to this and yesterday I got this done,” he said.
After meeting with Rajnath, the governor said that he had been briefed about pressing demands of the local police. He said that some of the demands have gotten ‘in-principle clearance’, which include funds for construction of safe housing clusters for police personnel and enhancements of the compensation families of J&K policemen recieve in occurrence of fatality during operations.
“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.
Earlier in June, the PDP-BJP coalition government collapsed, citing security concerns and rising militant activity in the valley, after which Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti submitted her resignation. The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind had given his approval of immediate Governor’s Rule in JK, following the collapse of the PDP-BJP coalition.