The appointment of Satyapal Malik as J&K Governor on Tuesday, the first politician to hold that post since militancy hit the State in the 1980s, is a clear pointer to the government’s thinking. According to senior sources in the Union government, the choice of Mr. Malik, a seasoned politician who has been a Socialist, a Congressman and joined the BJP in 2004 over the course of his career, hews to the road map Prime Minister Narendra Modi has for the State, especially the next six months which are crucial. “In the late 1980s and early nineties, we had non-civilians as Governors. Then we had a career bureaucrat in Mr. N.N. Vohra. The next logical appointment was that of a politician to that post, a progression with the political process,” said a source. Mr. Malik was to be appointed last year itself, especially because he had excellent relations with the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, having served in the V.P. Singh government between 1989-90. “For some reason that couldn’t happen,” said the source, “and while the relationship with the Muftis was important then, his reputation as a seasoned politician who has relationships across the political spectrum is helpful.” Sources said that ever since Mr. Vohra’s term came to an end last year (he has been on an extension), the question of who would be his replacement was being discussed at the highest level of government. Five names were finally shortlisted, Maharashtra Governor Vidyasagar Rao, former Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Mr. Malik, Admiral Shekhar Sinha and BJP leader Avinash Rai Khanna. “Mr. Malik was picked, despite his own reservations, as he fit the bill perfectly,” said the source.
Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/malik-fits-pm-modis-plans-for-kashmir/article24756024.ece