Meghalaya governor Satyapal Malik may resign over farm laws, say sources, but at an ‘opportune moment’
“Even if a dog dies, a condolence message is sent by Delhi leaders. But I am hurt that 600 farmers have died but no resolution was passed in Parliament,” Satyapal Malik said at an event in Jaipur
Will Meghalaya governor Satyapal Malik – who has criticized the Modi government over the ongoing farmers’ agitation several times – resign from his post? Sources comprising the ‘inner circle’ of the former socialist leader who joined the BJP in 2014 just before the Lok Sabha polls, say that “he is ready to tender his resignation”, but “not now as he is still hopeful that the matter may be resolved through dialogue”.
A senior political activist cum Jat leader said, “Malik wants to be remembered as a crusader”.
Speaking at Global Jat Summit in Jaipur on Sunday, Malik said, “Two, three leaders made me the governor. The day they tell me that they have a problem and ask me to quit, I will not take a minute.”
Malik’s statement is being seen as a hint by analysts that his days in the saffron party may be numbered.
Notably, Malik’s term as governor of Meghalaya ends in October 2022.
Before Meghalaya, Malik has served as the governor of Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, and Bihar. It was during his tenure in J&K that Article 370 was abrogated and the state was trifurcated into two Union Territories.
Talking to NH, a person who is known as the ‘eyes and ears’ of Malik said, “Whatever Governor Sab said is the truth. Isn’t it? Is it wrong if he says over 600 people have died protesting the laws, but no politician expressed his grief or a single word of condolence?”
NH had earlier reported that the former Jammu and Kashmir governor, whose allegations of corruption there had embarrassed the Modi government, had sought transfer from Goa due to corruption in the state.
When asked if it wasn’t inappropriate for a person holding a constitutional post to make political comments, an aide to the senior leader said, “Has it become a sin to speak truth (in this regime)”.
“Even if a dog dies, a condolence message is sent by Delhi leaders. But I am hurt that 600 farmers have died but no resolution was passed in Parliament,” Malik said at the event in Jaipur.
Calling the Modi government ‘arrogant’, Malik even criticized the Central Vista redevelopment plan – a project in which PM Modi has taken personal interest.
Observers believe that criticism of Modi’s pet project by Malik means that he is not interested in holding a constitutional post anymore.
“UP’s political scenario has changed due to the ongoing farmers’ protests. No leader (Jat) would like to die in oblivion,” said a Lucknow watcher.
Interestingly, despite launching a salvo at the Modi government, Malik has maintained that the issue can be resolved through a guarantee on minimum support price (MSP). The Modi government has refrained from taking any action against the outspoken governor so far.
A BJP insider told NH that they have been asked not to react as this may further give sanctity to Malik s allegations and may damage the party's prospects in poll-bound states such as UP and Uttarakhand.
Experts point out that the President of India has the power to remove a governor at any time without assigning any reason for the same and without granting the person an opportunity to be heard. However, this power cannot be exercised in an arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable manner.
In the case of Satyapal Malik, the Modi government is not going to take any action, said a Delhi watcher.
Malik has also claimed that the Army has felt the impact of the agitation over the farm laws as the farmers’ sons also serve in the military.
“Anything can happen. You are in power and are arrogant and do not know what repercussions would follow. When Kargil happens, the sons of these farmers are sent to the hills to fight,” Malik commented at Jaipur.
He said people could react to ‘injustice someday.’
Observers believe ‘someday’ referred to by Malik may be the day when he resigns from the BJP in protest against the farm laws.