Interview: Pulwama was a security lapse, Rajnath refused to provide planes, former J&K Guv Satyapal Malik

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Published : Apr 13, 2023, 7:57 AM IST

Updated : Apr 15, 2023, 4:22 PM IST

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Satyapal Malik, the outspoken former Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, in conversation with ETV Bharat's Saurabh Sharma, speaks about Kashmir, the Pulwama incident, Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi's disqualification, Adani imbroglio and its effect on BJP's prospects, and lot more...

Interview of Satyapal Malik former Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.

New Delhi: In a freewheeling conversation, former Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Satyapal Malik tells ETV Bharat how the 2019 Pulwama was a security lapse on part of the BJP-led central government. He claims that he had asked the then Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to fly in the troops rather than make them travel by road thereby exposing them to danger. Rajnath, Malik said, refused to provide the planes. The rest is history.

He also talks about his tenure in Jammu Kashmir as Governor, his working relationship with Abdullahs and Muftis, the Fax controversy, the abrogation of Article 370, the Pulwama attack, the corruption allegations against Ram Madhav, the Adani issue, and others. Here are the excerpts from the interview.

Q: Pulwama incident. Was it just an intelligence failure?

A: Yes it was our security lapse. The security forces had earlier asked for the planes for the CRPF personnel but Rajnath declined and they had to go by road which in the case of Kashmir was a dangerous step. In the area where the convoy was traveling and where it was attacked, there was no security there. So it was our incompetence. Someone should've been punished for that blunder. If not Rajnath, people under him including the secretaries and others should've been punished. But in order to hide their incompetence, they put it all against Pakistan and even won an election on that.

Q: Adani issue has become an issue of national subject. Could it harm BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha elections?

A: It has gone deep down like Bofors. It has become an issue that will trouble the BJP in the upcoming future. Even PM has not clarified this and has remained a mute spectator. People are watching and there will be consequences.

Q: How do you view your security getting downgraded? Is it a political vendetta?

A: The security of all the previous Governors like Jagmohan and others was never downgraded. LK Advani, Ghulam Nabi Azad, and Murli Manohar Joshi are still living in government bungalows despite the fact that they are not even a parliamentarian now. But my security was removed to scare me because I stood for the farmers. The government did not like it.

Q: Apart from PM Modi, any other alternative within the BJP?

A: Nitin Gadkari, he is a good man. Everyone likes him. Amit Shah is also a very competent man.

Q: What about Yogi Adityanath and Rajnath Singh?

A: Yogi Adityanath can become PM for a specific set of people. It would not be a good day for the country if he becomes the PM. Rajnath Singh is also a good man but now he has completely surrendered. I don't want to say anything about this. Gadkari also used to speak earlier but now they've sidelined him as well.

Q: Does anyone express their opinions in the internal meetings of BJP?

A: No. Nobody speaks in front of PM Modi. They don't discuss anything. They might talk of some trivial issues. PM Modi has changed completely. He was a different man when he was the CM of Gujarat. He is completely changed. He has become arrogant and a person full of vengeance.

Q: Your comments on Rahul Gandhi's disqualification?

A: That was unparliamentary and undemocratic. The speaker did not even allow Rahul Gandhi to speak. This is not how a democracy works.

Also read- Probe charges against Ram Madhav levelled by ex-Guv Satyapal Malik, Congress urges PM

Also read- LIC being forced to bail out Adani group, JPC probe urgent: Congress

Q: You were the last Governor of Kashmir before it lost its statehood and you were there for 15 months? What is the main problem in and of Kashmir?

A: The biggest problem is that it is being run from New Delhi with ministries and officials handling Kashmir without having an understanding of the region. 50% of the problem lies with us and the remaining half lies with the Kashmiri leaders.

Q: During your tenure, you said that Kashmiri netas have double standards. What did you mean?

A: Yes they are. When they are in Delhi, they speak a different language. As soon as they arrive here, they take out their green handkerchief.

Q: When you dissolved the assembly in 2018, a controversy around your FAX machine erupted when Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah blamed you for ignoring their Fax which could've proven the PDP-NC-Congress alliance.

A: Governments are not made on Twitter or via Fax. They should've after consultation with each other come to me with a written document. I would've then accepted their majority but that never happened. They took things for granted and despite having their majority, they did not know how to prove it.

Q: How did Peoples Conference Sajjad Lone come into the picture? He was also claiming a majority with only 4 seats of his own and claiming the majority with the support of BJP and 18 others.

A: I myself told him that he need to send the required papers to me. But he told me if I administer him the oath, then he will prove my majority in a week. He then told me that he has already told this to my PA. Let me clarify that the person to which he (Sajjad Lone) talked was the PA of my predecessor.

Q: You have spoken of corruption in Kashmir and once said that these terrorists end up killing their own people but rather they should kill these corrupt politicians here?

A: I don't want to comment on this. It's a fact that these Kashmiri leaders have looted people's money and this is not some hidden truth.

Q: Are you blaming the leadership of Abdullahs and Muftis?

A: I don't want to take any names. People know everything.

Also read- Situation in Kashmir worsened after abrogation of Article 370: Omar Abdullah

Q: The way Article 370 was abrogated, now when you look back, is that how it should have been done?

A: Yes, I have no doubt about that. Yes, there were restraints and communication blockades but security was above all these parameters. It was an issue of law and order. So we had to do that but all things went very smoothly.

Q: Have things really changed after the abrogation of Article 370?

A: Yes things have improved. Earlier, there was a feeling that we are not Indians. Things have improved, and alienation has come down.

Also read- Student sentenced to 5 yrs imprisonment for "celebrating" Pulwama attack

Last Updated :Apr 15, 2023, 4:22 PM IST

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