SRINAGAR: Within 24 hours after Delhi announced the appointment of the new governor, Satya Prakash Malik has actually flown to Srinagar to take over the reigns of Kashmir. With the people busy celebrating Eid, the entire government drove to the Srinagar airport to receive the new ruler of Kashmir.
What was interestingly different was that NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah also drove to the airport for receiving Vohra’s successor. N N Vohra, Kashmir’s longest-serving and a non-controversial governor is in Delhi. He had flown out Tuesday night in the state aircraft and is still there. Interestingly, Malik flew in the Bihar government aircraft. Officials said Vohra will fly to Srinagar on Thursday to hand over the keys of Raj Bhawan and governance to his successor.
Those who reported at the airport for receiving Malik include the three advisers, the Chief Secretary, the Corps Commander, DG police and all the additional DGs and all the secretaries and the principal secretaries of the department. All other officers of the government had lined up in the Raj Bhawan to get the new governor after a decade.
Initially, sources said the oath-taking ceremony was planned for Wednesday evening. But it is now taking place on Thursday at 10:45 am.
Malik landed after 4:30 pm and drove to the Raj Bhawan in a huge cavalcade.
Malik is the first political governor in the history of Jammu and Kashmir. The 72-year-old Malik has been associated with almost all political hues, starting as a socialist student leader to the vice president of the BJP, before being appointed as the Bihar governor last year.
Malik started his political career as a student leader in Meerut University and became MLA of Charan Singh’s Bhartiya Kranti Dal from Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh in 1974. He joined the Congress in 1984 and became its Rajya Sabha MP but resigned three years later in the backdrop of the Bofors scam. He switched to the V P Singh-led Janta Dal in 1988 and became an MP from Aligarh on its ticket in 1989.
In 2004, Malik joined the BJP and unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha elections, losing to former prime minister Charan Singh’s son Ajit Singh. Before taking oath as Bihar governor on October 4, 2017, he was in charge of the BJP’s Kisan Morcha. He was the Union minister of state, parliamentary affairs and tourism from April 21, 1990, to November 10, 1990.