Amid contrasting claims, J&K Governor dissolves Assembly

first_img Senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar said the BJP-backed PC claim only hinted at “illegitimate means the two parties were planning to employ in J&K to cobble together the required numbers.”“Initially, the BJP claimed an alliance of the NC, PDP and Congress was on the directions of Pakistan. It was bizarre. The BJP’s bid to project the head of a two-MLA party as new chief minister only showed the party’s desperation and illegal design to break parties here. Unfortunately, the BJP was supporting a leader who started his political career with a gun in his hand against the state of India and whose family still preaches separatism. And they call it nationalism,” said Mr. Akhtar.Undemocratic, says SozSenior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz termed the Governor’s decision “unconstitutional and undemocratic.”“Ms. Mufti should approach the court as the Governor dissolved the Assembly at the behest of the Centre,” said Mr. Soz.Earlier, in an eventful day, arch rivals, the National Conference and the PDP, decided to join hands to form a unity government, with the Congress openly offering its support.“The move was made with the sole aim of safeguarding the special status of J&K, which is under threat,” said PDP leader Altaf Bukhari.Ms. Mufti said the move was also necessitated because “the Governor’s administration randomly was amending the laws concerning the special status of the State and the BJP had started engineering defections in other parties for furtherance of its political motives.”“Governor Malik’s [earlier] decision not to dissolve the Assembly till 2020 kept the options of horse trading open. It was a serious situation,” said Congress president G.A. Mir.The sudden decision to form the government came just a day after a senior PDP leader and MP Muzaffar Hussain Baigh publicly supported Mr. Lone and the BJP-backed third front, triggering hectic political parleys among the three parties.“The BJP had started engineering defections in other parties for furtherance of its political motives. The three parties came together to stop horse trading too,” said Ms. Mufti.PDP’s Bukhari is emerging as a consensus candidate to lead the alliance as of now.Senior BJP leader Kavinder Gupta said these parties were worried because their ground was slipping in the State, as reflected in the recent elections.“This alliance is coming together on the directions of Pakistan. Meetings were happening in Dubai too. Even the Hurriyat is onboard for this,” said Mr. Gupta. Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday dissolved the State Assembly, as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peoples Conference (PC) separately staked claim to form a government after day-long political drama.“Governor Malik has passed an order in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by clause (b) of subsection (2) of Section 53 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir to dissolve the Legislative Assembly,” read a Raj Bhavan communique.Earlier, two parties, the PDP and the PC, after daylong political wrangling, wrote to the Raj Bhavan on email and WhatsApp to stake claim to form the government, as the Governor’s official fax failed to respond.Former Chief Minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, in the letter, claimed that she had the support of 15 MLAs from National Conference and 12 MLAs of the Congress, in addition to her 29 MLAs, putting the total number at 56.The Assembly has 87 members and any party would require 44 MLAs’ support to form a government.On the other hand, PC chief Sajad Lone, who has two MLAs, claimed the support of 25 MLAs of the BJP and 18 more MLAs.National Conference leader and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah cried foul over the Governor’s decision. “The NC has been pressing for Assembly dissolution for five months now. It can’t be a coincidence that within minutes of Mehbooba Mufti Sahiba’s letter staking claim the order to dissolve the Assembly suddenly appears,” said Mr. Abdullah.Also Read J&K Assembly dissolved: as it happened last_img