President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday transferred Satya Pal Malik as the Governor of Meghalaya, less than a year into his tenure as the Governor of Goa, a move that comes amid run-ins with Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant.
Malik will be replacing Tathagata Roy who completed his five-year tenure on the gubernatorial post.
A Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said Malik, Governor of Goa, is transferred and appointed as Governor of Meghalaya. Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has been given the additional charge of Goa, the communique added.
Malik takes over from Roy, who completed his five-year tenure by serving as governor of Tripura for three years and the remaining in Meghalaya.
On 4 November last year, Malik was sworn in the Governor of Goa by Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court Justice Pradeep Nandrajog. This was sought to be a more relaxed posting for Malik from the strenuous tenure as the last Governor of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. Malik was the governor of Jammu and Kashmir from August 2018 to October 2019.
Malik was the first politician-Governor in Jammu and Kashmir after a long period, according to Deccan Herald.
Malik was appointed to the post in Jammu and Kashmir on 21 August, 2018, months after the state government collapsed with the fall of the Bharatiya Janata Party-Peoples Democratic Party government.
As per Scroll.in 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.
As Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Malik oversaw the transition which included the revocation of article 370, as well as the splitting of the state into two Union Territories.
Jammu and Kashmir had ceased to be a state from 31 October after the Centre withdrew its special status under Article 370 on 5 August and bifurcated it into Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Radha Krishna Mathur and GC Murmu took oath as the first Lt Governors of the Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir, respectively.
The 74-year-old had recently stirred up controversy after he vetoed the government’s proposal to construct a new Raj Bhavan and said the construction should be put off till the state’s financial condition improves.
Earlier this year in July, Malik had also summoned Chief Minister Sawant to discuss the shortfalls of the BJP-led state government’s handling of the coronavirus situation in Goa.
Malik blamed the rising number of coronavirus cases in the state on an “error of judgment” by the state government and said it let down its guard prematurely. Goa “got satisfied” about the virus situation too early, Malik said.
He had described the entire sequence of decisions as an “error of judgment” on the part of the BJP-led state government. “Lockdown should have been imposed when there was demand,” Malik said.