Panaji: Goa Governor Satya Pal Malik’s criticism of the BJP-led government in Goa may have led to his sudden transfer on Tuesday to Meghalaya, Vijai Sardesai, chief of NDA ally Goa Forward Party, said here.
Malik was transferred to Meghalaya, in the midst of a war of words with Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant over issues related to poor Covid management in the state and construction of a new Raj Bhavan premises.
“Goa Governor Satyapal Malik spoke the truth on Goa’s #Covid situation & had taken strong stand on #Mhadei, #austerity (no need to have new Raj Bhavan during pandemic) & had called out Goa Chief Minister for being uncultured,” former Deputy Chief Minister Sardesai tweeted soon after Malik’s transfer was announced via a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique.
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari will additionally hold responsibility of the office of Goa Governor.
“His transfer was thus expected as truth is despised here under the present dispensation, but how can anyone justify a Governor of a state with max no of Covid cases & deaths being given additional responsibility of another state with highest cases per million and a Govt with its administration paralysed by ignorance and misplaced priorities?” Sardesai also said, while commenting on Koshyari’s appointment.
While the Goa Forward Party occupies treasury benches in the Goa Assembly, the regional party according to Sardesai, continues to support the pan-India BJP-led NDA.
Malik, formerly a Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, was sworn-in as Governor of Goa in November last year.
Over the last few weeks however, Malik has been at loggerheads with Chief Minister Sawant. The first stand-off between the two in recent times was when Malik slammed Sawant for “putting words in his mouth” related to media criticism of the government’s Covid-19 management efforts and said that the CM had behaved in an uncivilised manner.
Malik had later picked holes in the state government’s management of the Covid crisis.
Days later, Malik also criticised a state Cabinet decision to construct a new grand Raj Bhavan, saying such an exercise was unnecessary when the treasury was depleted on account of the pandemic.
Commenting on his transfer, Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat said that Malik was transferred out of Goa at a time when he was needed here the most. “Satya Pal Malik stood by truth, emotions and sentiment of every Goan on core issues like Mhadei (water sharing crisis), economic revival, austerity measures, handling and management of Covid pandemic. Truth and BJP can’t go together. Goa needed him the most now,” Kamat said.