Jammu: J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik said on Tuesday that had he looked to Delhi for instructions, he would have had to install a government led by Sajjad Lone instead of dissolving the state assembly. History would have remembered him as a “dishonest man”, he added.
After the remarks embarrassed the central government, the Raj Bhavan issued a clarification that said: “There was no pressure or any kind of intervention from the Centre in the entire matter and some news channels are misinterpreting Governor’s statement and putting them out of context to convey that there was pressure from the central government.”
Malik had abruptly dissolved the state assembly after the PDP led by Mehbooba Mufti staked claim to form a government with the backing of National Conference and Congress. This was followed by another bid from the two-member People’s Conference led by Sajjad Lone which claimed the support of BJP and “18 other legislators”.
During a pre-convocation academic conclave of ITM University in Gwalior today, Malik said, “Delhi ki taraf dekhta toh mujhe Lone ki sarkar banani padti aur mein ithihas mein ek beimaan aadmi ke taur pe jata… (Had I looked to Delhi, I would have had to install a government led by Lone, and history would have remembered me as a dishonest man).”
“Therefore, I ended the matter. Whosoever wants to scold can do so now, but I am convinced that whatever I did was right,” he said in his address after journalist Ravish Kumar mentioned in his speech the “faulty fax machine” in Raj Bhavan that apparently failed to receive Mehbooba Mufti’s letter staking claim to form the government.
Malik also took a dig at the Congress, PDP and NC saying if they were so keen on forming the government, they could have come to Jammu a day earlier and met him.
“It was an Eid holiday and an auspicious day. Did they expect the governor to stand by the fax machine and wait for their fax?” Malik said.
“If PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti and NC leader Omar Abdullah were serious about forming a government, they should have rung me up, or sent me a letter,” he said.
The governor said that without seeking any advice or direction or holding any discussion with Delhi, he took the decision of dissolving the assembly.
Malik said that as per the J&K Constitution, he did not have to take permission from the President or Parliament.
On remarks of BJP leader Ram Madhav that the NC and the PDP attempted to form a coalition government on the directions of Pakistan, Malik said that he cannot blame Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah because they were children of Sheikh Abdullah, who “chose India”.
“Mufti Sayeed was Indian and nobody can suspect his nationalism and no one suspects his daughter’s credentials as a nationalist,” he added.
The governor said Lone had been saying that he had sent his letter to Raj Bhavan on WhatsApp and Mufti said that she tweeted her letter.
“I never knew that governments were formed on WhatsApp and tweet messages. Staking claim for the formation of government are not made on WhatsApp,” he said.
“I was watching this all for past 15 days. I was confident that no one had majority. If I would have called one side, there would have been a major drama. There would have been use of money and it would have created a chaos,” Malik added.