Fate uncertain, socialist J-K governor Satya Pal Malik cushions as free man
NEW DELHI: With heart in socialist traditions, but political career lately in saffron stable, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik appears steeped in ideological contradictions, as he purportedly wondered in Jammu on Wednesday if he wouldn't be transferred soon to another state.
"I don't know how long I'm here. I may not be stripped of position, but I don't know how long I would stay in current assignment," Malik said in Jammu.
His associates noted that Malik still carries the socialist "flamboyance" and so he wouldn't be bending his back to save his chair. Malik in a viral video clip on the social media purportedly was heard saying in Jammu that he didn't know how long he would stay in his current assignment.
Apparently picked by Union Minister for Home Affairs Rajnath Singh for the tricky role of the J&K Governor vacated by long serving bureaucrat N N Vohra, Malik was seen the right choice to break ice in the Kashmir valley and give a fillip to Centre's hope to cut down on alienation among the youth.
Socialist politicians have arguably demonstrated the art to make swift adjustments, sometimes contradicting themselves, to suit expectations, and the BJP leaders claimed that Malik could well steer the state to the prospects of Assembly elections along with the Lok Sabha polls next year.
In Gwalior, he sought to salvage his image by asserting that had he been indeed a "Yes Man" of the Centre he would have sworn in Sajjad Lone as the chief minister of the state.
"Malik in his youth took political plunge in the shadow of Ram Manohar Lohiya and Raj Narain. Afterwards, he came close to former Prime Minister Charan Singh. For three and a half decades, Malik idolised Abdullah, swore by Article 370, only to take the saffron robe in 2004 when he contested on BJP ticket against Ajit Singh of the RLD in 2004. He's caught in a moral dilemma currently," said a senior socialist politician with parallel political trajectory in the western Uttar Pradesh.
Malik has tasted all political waters of the country. "As part of the socialist movement, Malik plunged in the JP (Jai Prakash Narayan) movement, joined ranks with former Prime Minister V P Singh, went to Samajwadi Party, and even spent time in the Congress. With stint in the BJP, Malik has left no political space untouched," said another contemporary politician of the J &K Governor.
All socialists, including Malik, looked upon "Lion of Kashmir" Sheikh Abdullah as a hero since he spent maximum years in jails, besides swearing in on Article 370 as a moral commitment, said a long time associate of Jammu and Kashmir, who added that the J&K Governor is now torn between his heart and mind.