Former Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik has said that it was "wrong" to state that he was raising questions over the 2019 Pulwama terror attack only after demitting office.
His remark came on Monday in response to a question on Union Home Minister Amit Shah's recent statement that he was "levelling allegations after parting ways with us".
"It is wrong to state that I raised this issue when I was out of power," he told reporters in Sikar in Rajasthan, adding that he had raised it on the day of the attack.
Forty Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed in the terrorist attack on a convoy of security vehicles in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama in February 2019.
Malik, who was then governor of Jammu and Kashmir, has recently alleged intelligence failures and that the central government denied aircraft for the movement of security personnel.
Asked about the allegation that the CBI's recent summons to Malik was linked to his criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government, Shah had last week said such a charge is not true as he was called by the probe agency earlier too.
In an interview with India Today, Shah had said, "I can say with complete conviction that the BJP has done nothing that needs to be covered up. If someone is levelling allegations after parting ways with us, then it should be evaluated accordingly by the media and people." On Monday, Malik said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is a "serious candidate" for the post of prime minister and that "if it is in his destiny, he will become one".
Asked about the BJP's prospects in the Lok Sabha elections next year, he said, "I wish them well, but in politics and elections, no one knows what will happen. The current situation is difficult for them, they will have to do some things." Malik claimed that Prime Minister Modi's silence on the Adani issue will harm him. The prime minister should also speak on the Pulwama issue, he added.
In the context of Rajasthan where assembly elections are due later this year, Malik said that if the BJP projects Vasundhara Raje as its chief ministerial candidate, its chances of victory will increase.
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