SRINAGAR: Satya Pal Malik, the governor of Meghalaya is no stranger to controversies. He has always invoked Kashmir to stay in news after his unceremonious ouster as Jammu and Kashmir governor.

Sajad Gani Lone with Satya Pal Malik on October 22, 2018

In an interview with The Wire, he said that Peoples Conference leader Sajjad Lone, who was the prime minister’s blue-eyed boy, came to me wanted to be Jammu and Kashmir chief minister just before the dissolution of the Assembly in 2018 although he had only six MLAs.

Malik said he had asked Lone to write to Raj Bhawan about the support he enjoyed in the 87-member House. Lone said he had six MLAs but “told me if you administer me the oath, I will prove my majority in a week”.

He added that he had told Lone, “That is not the governor’s role and I will not do it. The Supreme Court will skin me alive. The next day the Supreme Court will say you summon the House. You will lose. I will not do this.”

In the interview, Malik said that he had spoken to the then Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley about the situation and sought directions from the Centre.

He added that he had told Jaitley that if he got a letter from Mehbooba Mufti staking claim to form the government, “I am bound to call her for oath”.

“Had that happened, a government led by the minority community would have been formed and people from Jammu would not have been able to cross the Jawahar tunnel. Jaitley spoke to the prime minister. After that, I asked the PM. He gave me no clear-cut instructions. I did what I thought best and refused to allow horse trading,” said Malik.

Malik said that the Centre had not given him any advice and told him to do what he thought was appropriate. He then dissolved the Assembly in November 2018.

Sajad Lone has reacted to the statement of Malik. He is in London and has said he will have to be in US and UK for three weeks for “pressing family engagements”. However, he has sent a couple of tweets in response.  

“Every time I am in London or on my way to London there is a person who gets hit by verbal diarrhoea. This person sitting on chair doled out in charity in lieu of being chief accomplice in murders, arrests and abrogating Article 370- wants now to be the sermoniser in chief,” one tweet said.

Lone has released the letter that he had sent to Malik in which he has asserted that apart from the BJP, he has the support of 18 MLAs.


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