Current AffairsIndia

J and K Governor dissolves Assembly within minutes of PDP sending fax staking claim to form govt

Story Highlights
  • PDP backed by Cog and NCP stakes caim claiing support of 56 MLAs
  • Countered by People’s Conference leaderSajjad Lone, claiming support of 18 MLAs withBJPs backing of 29 MLAs
  • Governor Satyapal Mallik, who met Modi and Amit Shah on Monday and Tuesday, dissolved House immediately

SrinagarNov 22 (GCCurrentAffairs) The Jammu & Kashmir Governor, Satya Pal Malik, a BJP appointee, dissolved the J&K Assembly Wednesday after three non-BJP parties came together to stake claim to form a government that was countered by Peoples Conference leader Sajad Lone with the BJP’s backing.

In a letter to the Governor, PDP president and former CM Mehbooba Mufti said her party was the largest in the Assembly with 29 MLAs, and the Congress and National Conference had decided to extend support to her party.

“The NC has a strength of 15 and the Congress 12. That takes our collective strength to 56. Since I am presently in Srinagar, it would not be possible to call on you immediately and this is to keep you informed that we would be seeking your convenience shortly to stake the claim for forming the government,” Mehbooba, who is also the leader of the PDP legislature party, wrote to the Governor.

This was countered by Lone, who also wrote to the Governor staking claim to form the government with BJP’s backing. He claimed the support of 18 MLAs besides the 25-strong BJP, contending that it was more than the required number for majority.

Governor Satya Pal Malik made a terse announcement saying he was exercising powers conferred on him by the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution and dissolving the House which had two more years to go. This moce came  five months after BJP pulled out of the Mehbooba Mufti government leading to the fall of PDP-BJP collation that lasted for over two years.

Until news of the dissolution came, former Finance and Education Minister Altaf Bukhari was reportedly tipped to be the next chief minister of the PDP-led collation. Mufti said the Raj Bhavan strangely had not received her letter that was faxed. She said she was trying to contact the Governor over telephone. A few minutes after Governor dissolved the Assembly, Mehbooba Mufti took to twitter and, while taking a jibe, posted, “In todays age of technology, it is very strange that the fax machine at HE Governor’s residence didn’t receive our fax but swiftly issued one regarding the assembly dissolution.”

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah questioned the timing of the dissolution. “JKNC has been pressing for assembly dissolution for 5 months now. It can’t be a coincidence that within minutes of Mehbooba Mufti Sahiba letter staking claim the order to dissolve the assembly suddenly appears,” Omar tweeted. He also said: “J&K Raj Bhavan needs a new fax machine urgently.”

Congress leader Saifuddin Soz said: “Mehbooba should move court as what the Governor has done on Centre’s instructions is undemocratic and unconstitutional. Mehbooba Mufti wrote to the Governor only after Congress and NC supported PDP, and the Governor should’ve given her a chance.”

J&K governor had a meeting with PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah on Monday and Tuesday respectively, an NDTV report said, citing sources. On Wednesday, J&K chief secretary was also reportedly called to Delhi.

With the dissolution of the Assembly, elections are expected to be held in Jammu and Kashmir within six months.

EC to examine whether MCC can be imposed: Election Commission (EC) will examine whether the model code of conduct (MCC) can be imposed in Jammu and Kashmir even before fresh elections are announced there, a senior official said Wednesday.

The poll panel had recently decided that in states where assemblies are dissolved prematurely, the model code will come into force immediately.

The poll code, which bars the caretaker government and the party in power from taking policy decisions, otherwise comes into force the day polls are announced by the EC.

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