Srinagar:Newly-appointed Governor to Jammu and Kashmir Satya Pal Malik intends to be known as “people-friendly” as he begins his official tenure from Wednesday. A seasoned politician, Malik wants to take ahead Prime Minister’s mandate of “dialogue with all and engage the youth”.
While Speaking Malik said, “My agenda is to go among public of Jammu and Kashmir. I want to be accessible to the local population. I am not interested to meet politicians and have tea but to engage youth. I will be people friendly and want to listen to them.”
Seated in the centre of a huge room in Delhi’s residence at the posh Prithviraj Road, Malik interacts with incoming visitors and seems at ease while preparing for the new role.
Governor rule in Jammu and Kashmir is also being referred as an attempt to implement direct commands from Delhi, via the Prime Minister Office.
“PM mandate is to be open to everybody, especially whose voices have not been heard. Youth will be heard. General guideline remains as PM is friendly to Kashmiri people. He visited valley during floods and provided aid, celebrated Diwali festival also amongst people. The PM is very concerned about state’s populace. He wants to win trust of public and say we are with them, this is their government”, says Malik.
The last political leader as state governor was Dr. Karan Singh. Since then, there have been appointees hailing from military and bureaucratic background including N.N.Vohra, the predecessor to Malik. 51 years after Dr. Karan Singh, a political leader and son of Dogra king Maharaja Hari Singh, state is keenly watching the actions of new governor.
“The work of a politician is to go among public and listen to people grievances. So, there should be no confusion about my background. I am going there not for myself but for people. No formula but basic intent,” adds Malik.
“Within one day, I asked Deputy Commissioners to organise and attend public hearing. I will also visit neglected areas. MLA development fund was stuck as assembly was in suspended animation. I have got funds opened. When elected leaders visit constituency now, they can now respond to demands and restart development projects.”
“I am not going there for political activity. I am going for people and ask them why they are so agitated.”
The newly appointed governor did not have any response to the ongoing controversy over Article 35A.
Malik has served as Bihar Governor and says, “There is a difference between two states but will not be difficult, as long as basic intent is good.”
Interestingly, Malik has been an old friend of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed – the former CM of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Home Minister.
“Mufti Saab was a wonderful person. Few of us raised issue during the Bofors case, including V.P. Singh, Mufti saab, Arun Nehru, Asif and me. We formed Janmorcha and raised questions on Bofors when both of us were MPs. We had to resign from parliament¸ despite four year tenure still remaining. On personal note, twice every week he would invite us for Kashmiri cuisine and exchange traditional gifts like shawls. I have met Mehbooba also when she was the Chief Minister, and treated her like family”.
“I am taking this goodwill and love to Jammu and Kashmir,” concludes the new governor. (IT)