On June 12, the Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik addressed his maiden presser ever since he landed here to take charge of the government. He was appointed by the president Ram Nath Kovind on August 21, 2018, after the unceremonious exit of the previous governor N N Vohra. In the presser, he talked about some core issues which were one or the other way of concern to every single individual in the state.

He also lamented the national media and criticized their negative role in portraying the image of the valley. “In my district (Muzaffarnagar), at least five people get killed every day. Tourists are looted on the Meerut highway every week. There is no news about these incidents, but killing in Kashmir is debated for five days on national news channels only to paint a dismal picture of the atmosphere of peace and security to demonize Kashmir situation which damages the prospects of tourist seasons and atmosphere of peace and security in Kashmir.”

He also talked about his modus operandi vis-à-vis solving the issues of the local populace.

He said that he doesn’t only rely on the agencies for the feedback but is connected to many other youths from whom he gets to know about the ground situation.

Governor Malik said that the ruling elite involved in corruption in Jammu and Kashmir would face action soon. Without naming any party he hinted at the regional parties and accused them of patronizing the separatists. “Some parrot the separatists and need to draw a line.

“There were two major cases of corruption, involving ₹150 crore each. I apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and got many deals cancelled where middlemen were offering kickbacks. Many powerful people, with access to the PM, were involved in it. The ruling elite in J&K has been a part of the corruption. You will hear big news soon involving former Ministers.”

He also questioned the regional parties’ representative character, citing the two per cent turnout in the Bijbehara Assembly segment recently. The segment is the hometown of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti.

The governor highlighted the areas where he is focused to streamline the derailed system. Six fact-finding committees in different areas, such as sports, technical education, sports council appointments, macadamization, dredging, and Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation Limited had been set up to act against the corrupt elements through the amended powers granted to the Anti-Corruption Board [ACB]. The committees have to submit their reports by the end of this month.

Also, the decline of the militancy was among his key points he deliberated upon and has offered militants to shun their path and to come to the dialogue table. He also talked about the recent controversy about the delimitation and Article 35A. He assured that they are only for media sensationalism and assured that people do not need to worry.

Now the presidential rule has been extended for six more months in the valley, the Yatra season commencing next month and in absence of the popular mandate, Governor has more responsibilities to shoulder now.


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