The controversial former governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Satya Pal Malik, has predicted that the 2024 general elections will be affected by the accusations of crony capitalism levelled against the Narendra Modi administration in the wake of the Adani issue.
During an interview with the YouTube channel DB Live, Malik, who previously served as the governor of Goa, J&K, Meghalaya, and Bihar, made comments on a variety of topics. He spoke on the Adani Group’s alleged wrongdoing, the Pulwama terror attack, the repeal of Article 370, and the RSS’s influence over universities. On April 9, the interview appeared on YouTube.
According to him, the Modi administration has no response for the claims that it contributed to Gautam Adani’s rapid rise. He referred to the speaker’s rejection to allow Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to speak in parliament as “unprecedented,” and he agreed that it should have been allowed. Regarding Gandhi’s allegations about the source of the Rs 20,000 crore invested in the Adani firms, Prime Minister Modi has yet to respond.
The former governor said that the Adani matter has seeped into the common man. He quoted a song which he heard a woman singing, “Ye na chaiwala hai, na gai wala, Ambani Adani ka ye lagta saala hai. Is ne desh bech dala [He is neither a tea seller, nor a protector of cows. Looks like he is a relative of Ambani and Adani, he has sold the country].”
In response to Modi’s claim that a hit job had been carried out on him in order to damage his reputation, Malik claimed that if such a contract had been granted, it had been “given to Adani.” According to him, the Prime Minister’s credibility is only being ruined by the Adani claims. The Adani situation, he continued, will hurt the BJP in the elections of 2024.
Malik has criticised the Modi administration ever since the three agriculture laws—now repealed—were introduced. In January of last year, he claimed that when he told the prime minister that 500 farmers had died during the anti-law demonstrations, Modi had reacted by musing, “Did they die for me?”
In the interview, he stated that he had advised the prime minister to “quickly settle the farmers’ agitation” and not to “make enemies out of Sikhs and Jats.” He reiterated his claim that Modi was not treating the situation seriously.
Malik declared that he will not join a party and that he will instead run an anti-BJP campaign in the general election of 2024. He claimed to be engaged in discussions to forge a united front against the BJP. The saffron party won’t win more than 150 seats in the 2024 elections if one opposition candidate is put up to run against the BJP in every constituency, he claimed.
The 76-year-old leader went into detail about an earlier claim that a private corporation had attempted to bribe him with Rs 300 crore while he was the governor of J&K. Ram Madhav was identified as the “RSS functionary” who was particularly interested in the deal, he revealed. He claims that a bribe of Rs 300 crore was offered to him in exchange for his rejection of the plan. Ram Madhav, according to Malik, appeared to Raj Bhavan at 7 am the day after he cancelled the plan.
According to Malik, the RSS leader was very upset and asked, “Kaha aise kaise investment aaye ga? Maine kaha investment aaye ya na aaye mai galat kaam nahin karunga [How will we get such investment again? I replied, irrespective of investment, I will not do the wrong thing].”
During his tenure as J&K governor, Malik said that he told the CBI that some people were involved in the two deals, one of which was for a hydel power plant. These people were ‘manya pradhan mantri ke log‘ [the respected prime minister’s people].
Regarding the terrorist assault in Pulwama in February 2019, Malik said that he was not informed of the movements of the CRPF jawans. They had requested an aeroplane in the days prior to the attack in order to avoid travelling by road, but the Union home ministry had turned them down. He asserted that there was no plot behind the terror attack and that it was the product of laparwahi (negligence) and ineptitude.
According to Malik, a number of vice chancellors who have been appointed in the last year are there not because of their qualifications but rather because of their affiliation with the RSS. He claimed that many of them were “unfit to serve as intermediate college principals.” Even he, the governor, faced pressure to nominate some people, but he resisted.
He claimed that the prime minister was “supporting a corrupt chief minister of Goa” when he quit his position as governor of Goa. He did not address the accusation, but current Pramod Sawant served as Goa’s chief minister from November 2019 to August 2020 while Malik served as that state’s governor.
Malik argued for a change in the process of selecting people for the constitutional post while discussing the hostile relationships between the governors of several opposition-ruled regimes. According to him, the nomination of the governor should be made in collaboration with the judiciary, much like the Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding the appointment of election commissioners, in order to prevent yes men from being nominated to the position of governor.