Goa Governor Satya Pal Malik was on Tuesday moved to Meghalaya, according to an order by the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has been given the additional charge of Goa. Malik replaced Tathagata Roy as the governor of the northeastern state. This is Malik’s third shift in two years.
Congress criticised the decision and claimed he was shifted for speaking the truth and taking a strong stand on matters like handling of the coronavirus pandemic, environment and the Mahadayi river water dispute, PTI reported. “The governor stood by truth, emotions and sentiments of every Goan on the core issues like Mahadayi water diversion by Karnataka, economic revival and austerity measures, besides the government’s handling and management of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Congress leader Digambar Kamat said.
He added that Malik has been transferred at a time when Goa needed him the most. “Malik was always concerned about bad finances of the state and consistently advised the government to adopt austerity measures and to stop wasteful expenditure,” he said. “Truth and the BJP cannot go together.”
Malik had clashed with the state government earlier this month over a proposal to build a new Raj Bhavan amid the coronavirus pandemic. He had called the government’s plan “illogical and imprudent”.
Goa Forward Party chief Vijai Sardesai said Malik spoke truth about the prevailing coronavirus situation in the coastal state. “He had taken a strong stand on the Mahadayi issue and other austerity measures including opposition for new Raj Bhavan,” he added. “He had called out the Goa chief minister for being uncultured. Malik’s transfer was in a way expected as truth is despised here under the present dispensation. But how can anyone justify that governor of a state [Maharashtra] with maximum number of Covid-19 cases and deaths being given the additional responsibility of another state [Goa]?”
Malik was transferred to Goa from Jammu and Kashmir in October. He was appointed the Jammu and Kashmir’s governor on August 21, 2018, months after the state government collapsed with the fall of the Bharatiya Janata Party-Peoples Democratic Party government. He was at the helm of the state administration when it was under Governor’s Rule and then under President’s Rule, and also oversaw the revocation of the state’s special constitutional status.
In November 2018, Malik dissolved the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly after both Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti and People’s Conference leader Sajad Lone staked claim to form the government. Malik had claimed that he did not get a letter from Mufti, in which she staked claim to form a government in the state with Omar Abdullah’s party and blamed it on his fax machine.
Before his stint in Jammu and Kashmir, Malik served as the governor of Bihar.