Satya Pal Malik: First Career Politician In 51 Yrs To Be Appointed As J&K Governor
Satya Pal Malik has been appointed as the new governor of Jammu and Kashmir. He holds the unique distinction of being the first career politician to be made the Jammu and Kashmir’s governor after 51 years. Malik replaces NN Vohra, who held the office for 10 years. Malik was previously appointed as the Bihar governor in 2017 after Ram Nath Kovind was made the President of India.
In June this year, BJP pulled out of the coalition government with the PDP. The then chief minister Mehbooba Mufti rendered her resignation soon after. After this, the state was put under the Governor’s rule.
Although traditionally, a governor’s role is largely ceremonial, in this case, Malik, as the new governor of the state will have the grave responsibility upon his shoulder.
It is also to be noted that the previous governor, NN Vohra was a retired IAS officer. His predecessors too have been either bureaucrats or retired Army generals, who have had prior experience in handling the sensitive state. Before Malik, only Karan Singh, who also was the first governor of Jammu and Kashmir, is the politician to have this post and even that because he belonged to the ruling family, reported The Outlook.
It will be even more difficult to fill in the shoes of Vohra, considering he had a prior exposure to the trouble-hit state as the Centre-appointed interlocutor in 2003, just before taking up the reins of being the governor. Apart from this, he has been a lifelong bureaucrat, serving as Principal Secretary to the then prime minister IK Gujaral from 1997 to 1998. He has also served as the Home Secretary, Defence Secretary and the Defence Production Secretary of India in the past.
Who is Satya Pal Malik?
The 72-year-old, in the past, has been associated with many parties, including Janata Dal and Congress. He holds a degree in BSc and LLB from Meerut University, and it was around this time in the university that he began his political journey by becoming a student leader, reported The Quint.
In 1974, he became an MLA of Charan Singh’s Bhartiya Kranti Dal from Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh. However, in 1984, he joined Congress and became a Rajya Sabha MP, only to resign three years later due to the Bofors scam. He then became the MP from Aligarh on Janata Dal’s ticket, in 1989. He again switched party in 2004 and joined BJP. In 2017, when Ram Nath Kovind stepped down as the governor of Bihar to become the President, it was Malik who was appointed as the governor of Bihar.
Major governor reshuffle
Malik was shifted to the militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir by President Ram Nath Kovind in a gubernatorial reshuffle. Apart from Malik, senior BJP leader Lal Ji Tandon has been appointed the governor of Bihar, replacing Malik, reported The Times of India.
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