by Umar Mukhtar
SRINAGAR: After recent fax machine controversy and dissolution of state legislative assembly, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Paul Malik, said, had he sought permission from Delhi, Sajad Lone would have been the Chief Minister of Kashmir by now. Malik was addressing students during the pre-convocation conclave at ITM University, Gwalior. It was a comment by a TV anchor that provoked the entire controversy from which the governor is making serious efforts to come out.
Malik told bemused students that he wants history to remember him as “a man of principles and not as a dishonest”.
“Had I looked up to New Delhi, I would have been compelled to form the government of Sajad Lone,” Malik said in a revelation that was hugely welcomed by the political parties in Kashmir. “But I didn’t want to go down in the history as a dishonest man.”
Malik claimed that none of the alliances – that had staked the claim for government formation, had the actual numbers. He also said that had he not dissolved the assembly, horse trading might have taken place to form the government and which could have eventually led to “killings and chaos.”
Provoked To Comment?
Governor Malik’s controversial commentary was in response to a two-liner by NDTV anchor Ravish Kumar. Addressing the students in presence of Governor Malik, he suggested the engineering students to help create a fax machine that can work even during the evening. “You should be concerned about the state of the fax machine in Srinagar’s Raj Bhawan…You are technology students and you must devise a fax machine that will not stop working after 7 pm,” Kumar said to IIT students who broke into instant laughter. “I trust him (governor Malik) that he will never say that Ravish Kumar said this at the behest of the ISI.”
This left no chance to governor Malik to keep quiet. He talked and, given his style, talked in too much of detail.
Governor Malik mocked at the Mehbooba led grand alliance’s claims. “No governor would check fax on Eid day even when his cook is holidaying,” Governor Malik said. “Had they been serious about the formation of the government, there were many flights operating that day from Srinagar to Jammu. They could have sent anyone, in person.” The day when the entire controversy erupted, it was the birth anniversary of the prophet and an official holiday. But it was the Eid, though it called Eid-e-Milad.
Taking on Sajad Lone’s claim for the government formation, Kashmir governor said: “I wonder if governments are formed by WhatsApp messages and Tweets. The more interesting part was that Sajad had sent WhatsApp message to some Jag Jeevan when I enquired about this person I was told that he was PA to the former Governor.”
Earlier in a press conference, Lone had claimed that he spoke to the governor and then tried sending his letter but all the numbers of Raj Bhawan, Jammu were busy. “Finally, I sent it on WhatsApp to his PA and it was acknowledged,” he said in a presser, last week.
Malik also said that there is no possibility of autonomy, freedom or merger of Kashmir with Pakistan. Pertinent to mention here JK assembly had long back passed a unanimous resolution seeking autonomy for the state which was discarded by New Delhi.
Governor Malik even talked about militancy in Kashmir claiming that “the people in villages don’t provide shelter to the militants any more”. He said that today militants, Hurriyat and two parties had threatened people to boycott polls, but despite that people came out and cast their ballots in large number.
The governor said that the Kashmir issue is there because of the dreams shown by the politicians for last fifty years. “Nobody including mainstream political parties, Hurriyat or Pakistan can resolve the Kashmir issue, but the youth in the Valley only can resolve the Kashmir issue,” he said. “I assure you that Dr Farooq, Mufti and Hurriyat’s can’t resolve the issue but youth only can resolve it.”
He said that the dreams shown by the politicians including autonomy, freedom and merger with Pakistan is not possible in the Valley, saying that the youth are now being given a hard-line teaching by being told that they will get a place in heaven after sacrificing their life but “I want to tell them that they can only have it when they are alive. I will give them everything whatever is possible within the ambit of the Indian constitution.”
Governor Malik said that a youth was recently selected in IPL and over 20000 people visited his house and congratulated him. Besides, a football match was being played recently between Mohan Bagan and Kashmir team and at least 36000 people were watching the match. “Police officers told me that there were stone pelters today and I told him that they are all watching the match. They were supporting Kashmir team and also the opposite team,” he said.
Governor further said that CBC and Sainik Schools will be opened in the Valley, which people have agreed to. He further added that Delhi demonizes Kashmiris as people die at other places as well. “I talked to a media person on the embankment of Dal Lake for almost an hour and that too without security,” he said.
In the recent past, the governor said, at least 30 candidates passed the JK Bank examinations but they were not appointed. “Later, they called on me and briefed me about the development following which I talked to Finance Secretary and all the candidates were later appointed,” he said.
Governor added that both Abdullahs’ and Muftis are patriotic but Hurriyat always follow the directions from Pakistan as they don’t even go to the toilet without their permission. “We will talk to Hurriyat as they are the residents of Kashmir but not to Pakistan as a country, it won’t be allowed to decide anything on Kashmir,” Governor Malik insisted. He also claimed that “some Hurriyat leaders have told him that even Musharraf suggested the Hurriyat to talk with India as it is a nuclear power and can’t fight with.”
The governor revealed that “nearly 300 militants are active in Kashmir and most of them are not trained, whose shelf life has been reduced to a year.” He added that from the past four months, there was no recruitment in the militancy and the stone pelting is totally decreased.
Kashmir Parties React
Almost all the political parties in Kashmir have welcomed governor Malik’s statement that he did not take instructions from Delhi and stopped installing BJP and its proxies as state’s Chief Minister.
“I really don’t know what to make of Governor Sb revelations in Gwalior. We know the BJP & its proxies were desperate to form a government through horse-trading & use of money but we’ve also never known a politically appointed governor going against the wishes of the centre,” Omar wrote on Twitter. “My compliments to Governor Malik for not looking to Delhi & for not taking their instructions thereby stopping the installation of a government of the BJP & its proxies formed by horse trading, defections & use of money.”
Even Mehbooba Mufti wrote on Twitter: “Leaving aside the fax machine fiasco, good to see that governor Sb refused to take dictation from Delhi, rather opted for dissolution of the assembly. This could be unprecedented, given the story of democracy in the state.”
“If it is true, it certainly is a welcome development where state governor has exerted his authority in making a correct and sensible decision,” NC leader Ali Mohammad Sagar was quoted saying in an official statement. “By doing so he has exposed the so-called third front as a power-hungry creation facilitated by BJP to create chaos and confusion in the state.”
Asserting that NC does not mind fighting its adversaries, Sagar praised Malik for dissolving the state assembly and stopping BJP and its proxies to form the government in the state.
“The lies and false accusations to which BJP and its proxies resorted to stand defeated today with Governor Sahab himself making it clear how he withstood the pressure of installing BJP proxies as CM here,” he said.
Asking the BJP and its proxies to read the writing on the wall, Sagar said: “In spite of money power that is being used, these forces will face an imminent defeat in the forthcoming elections. NC was and will continue to be the premier political party of our state representing the aspirations of the people of the state. No other political party in Jammu & Kashmir can be an alternative to NC as we will continue to work tirelessly for the welfare of the people of the state.”
Cat Out Of Bag
“The statement of Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik in Gwalior that Sajad Lone would have become Chief Minister of the state had he sought the opinion of New Delhi before dissolving the legislative assembly confirms the apprehensions of the people that BJP was trying desperately to impose its government on Jammu and Kashmir by hook or crook,” CPI (M) said in a brief statement. “CPI(M) had been saying it from the day one that the BJP-led Centre’s intentions for keeping Jammu and Kashmir Assembly in suspended animation were not clear and finally, the cat is out of the bag. They were trying to encourage defections and indulge in horse-trading to form a government in the state. Now the nominee of the Centre, the Governor has himself blown the lid off.”
The party said that now “everything is clear” before the people of the state and the country about what actually BJP wanted to do in J&K. “People of Jammu and Kashmir state have always rejected the divisive designs of communal forces and will do the same in the future. The disruptive and communal politics of RSS, the ideological mentor of BJP will be defeated not only in Jammu and Kashmir in the coming elections but across the country,” it added.
Engineer Rasheed said: “Governor’s latest claim that had he followed New Delhi’s dictates, Sajad Lone would have been the Chief Minister has exposed the fact that New Delhi doesn’t mean flourishing real democracy in J&K. it is obvious that in exchange to surrendering the demand of forming a grand alliance, BJP agreed to dissolve the assembly, which was otherwise unconstitutional but following the secret deal, NC and PDP decided not to challenge Governor’s decision.”
Raj Bhavan Corrects
A spokesman of the Raj Bhavan Spokesperson issued a brief statement of clarification. “The J&K Raj Bhavan Spokesperson has clarified that Governor J&K while taking the decision to dissolve the Legislative Assembly, acted in an objective and impartial manner,” the spokesman said. “There was no pressure or any kind of intervention from the Centre in the entire matter and some News Channels are misinterpreting Governor’s statement and putting them out of context to convey that there was pressure from the Central Government.”