Updated: January 4, 2022 3:38:00 pm
With the Opposition citing his remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Meghalaya Governor Satya Pal Malik said Monday he lauded the Prime Minister’s move to withdraw the contentious farm laws and “the PM is on the right track now”.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Malik maintained that his remarks quoting Union Home Minister Amit Shah had been “misconstrued” and “Shah did not make any comment on the Prime Minister” but had “asked me to keep meeting people and try to convince them”.
“Actually, Amit Shah had asked me why do I keep making statements? But when I told him the government had to find a middle path for the farmers and cannot let them die, he was very understanding. He understood the issue too,” he said.
Malik, who had criticised the Prime Minister and the BJP government over the farm laws and demanded their withdrawal, had alleged at a function in Dadri in Haryana that Modi was “arrogant” when he met him to discuss the farmer protests.
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“Mai jab kisano ke maamle mein pradhan mantri se milne gaya toh meri paanch minute mein ladai ho gayi unse. Woh bahut ghamand mein the. Jab mai unhe kaha hamaare 500 log mar gaye… toh usne kaha ‘mere liye mare hain’? (When I went to meet the Prime Minister to discuss the farmer issue, I ended up fighting with him within five minutes. He was very arrogant. When I told him that 500 of our own (farmers) had died… he said, ‘Did they die for me?’” he was heard saying in a video clip from the function.
“Maine kaha aapke liye toh mare the, aap raja bane huai ho unki wajah se. Khair, jhagda ho gaya mera. Unhone kaha tum Amit Shah se milo. Mai Amit Shah se mila, usne kaha ‘Satya Pal, iski akal maar rakhi hai logon ne. Tum befikar raho, milte raho ye kisi na kisi din samajh mein ajaye’ (I told him you are king because of them. I ended up having an argument with him. He told me to meet Amit Shah and I did. He said ‘Satya Pal, he has been misguided by some people. You don’t worry about it, you keep meeting. Things will be understood one day),” he said.
On Monday, Malik denied it. “No, it’s wrong. Shah did not say anything like that to me. He asked me to keep meeting everyone.”
Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, tweeted the video clip of Malik’s comments and tagged Modi. “Meghalaya’s Governor Sri. Satya Pal Malik is on record saying PM was ‘arrogant’ on the issue of Farmers & HM Amit Shah called the PM as ‘mad’ Constitutional authorities speaking about each other with such contempt! @narendramodi ji is this true?”
On Modi, Malik said Monday: “I publicly appreciated and praised the PM for the step he has taken for the farmers. When he was the Chief Minister (of Gujarat), he was pro-farmer and wanted MSP to be given statutory status. But after becoming the Prime Minister, he was misguided. Still, when he realised that the farmers did not support the laws at any cost, he had the heart to withdraw it and apologise. That shows his large-heartedness. He is on the right track now.”
Recollecting that the government had accepted the stand of a parliamentary team led by him on the land acquisition Bill during its first term, he said: “Amit Shah had made me the head of the panel… I knew he was capable of sorting out things with the Prime Minister and with the farmers.”
Malik said he was always “conscious of the fact that there is great synergy between Amit Shah and Prime Minister and both work well together”.
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