Union home minister Amit Shah has questioned the timing of Satya Pal Malik’s allegations against the Narendra Modi government, asking why he had been silent when he was governor.
Shah’s comments, made in response to a question, are the first by any senior member of the government on Malik’s allegations.
In an interview to journalist Karan Thapar uploaded on The Wire on April 14, Malik had said the Prime Minister had hushed him up, saying “tum abhi chup raho”, when he reported as Jammu and Kashmir governor that the Centre’s lapses were to blame for the Pulwama massacre. Malik, appointed governor to several states by the Modi government, also said Modi “does not hate corruption very much”.
The Centre did not respond to the allegations. Even on Saturday, Shah passed up the opportunity to issue an outright denial, only saying the government had nothing to hide.
“All I have to say is, you should also ask, how come all this is remembered after leaving us? Why doesn’t the soul awaken while being part of the administration?” Shah said in response to a question at the India Today Roundtable here on Saturday.
“People and journalists should think about credibility. If all of this is correct, why was he silent when he was governor?”
Malik in the interview had said that by the time he spoke to Modi several hours after the Pulwama massacre, when the Prime Minister came out of Corbett National Park, he had already made the same statement to a couple of news channels.
Shah was asked about the CBI summons issued to Malik a week after the interview. He dismissed suggestions that the summons — to question Malik on a corruption racket he had earlier highlighted — was linked to his criticism of the government.
“That’s not right. My information is he’s been called a third time. It is not true he has been summoned because he spoke against us,” he said.