Srinagar, Nov 22: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has dissolved the state assembly as both Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference leader Sajad Lone and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti staked claim to form government in the state.
“The governor, Jammu and Kashmir, Satya Pal Malik has passed an order in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 53 of the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir dissolving the Legislative Assembly,” the order reads.
“By virtue of powers vested upon me in terms of Proclamation No. P-1/18 of 2018 dated 20th June 2018 issued under sub-section (1) of section 92 and in exercise of the powers conferred upon me by clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 53 of the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, I hereby dissolve the Legislative assembly,” said an order issued by the governor.
Soon after assembly was dissolved Omar Abdullah took to Twitter and wrote, “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.”
Earlier, Sajad Lone claimed he has the support of 26 BJP legislators and 18 others, which would cross the majority mark of 44, Peoples Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti says she has the support of the Congress and the National Conference, taking their collective total to 56.
“As you are aware that Peoples Democratic Party is the largest party in the State assembly having a strength of 29. You might have gathered from the media reports that the Congress and National Conference has a strength of 15 and the Congress 12. That takes over collective strength to 56,” her letter reads.
Earlier, Congress, People’s Democratic Party, and National Conference have “agreed” to form the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir to “protect” the special status of the state.
Senior PDP leader, Altaf Bukhari, after meeting the NC leader Omar Abdullah, told the reporters that three parties have agreed to form the coalition government in the state in the interest of the state.
“Article 370 is our identity. We need to safeguard it. It is the constitution of India that grants special status to the state. We have been doing everything possible to defend it,” he said.
Bukhari said, “By Thursday, people of the state would receive good news with regard to government formation.”
“Keeping in view the political situation and the aspirations of the people, we have joined hands. Around 60 MLAs have come together. It is good that an elected government would be in place to run the affairs,” he said.
He said the “communal forces” have so far not been able to make entry into the state.
“We need to keep them away,” he said.
He, however, said he was not aware of the contours of the alliance.
“We have agreed to form the government to respond to the situation. Serious discussion is going on between the leaders of three parties,” Bukhari said.
Asked who would be the chief minister, he replied, “He will be from among the leaders”.
Meanwhile, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad confirmed that talks were going on among the three parties over government formation in the state.
“We (NC, Congress, PDP) thought why not to unite and form a government together. Talks are going on, but as of now it is only a suggestion…We haven’t reached that stage yet where we can form the government,” said Azad, responding to queries on potential Congress-PDP-NC alliance.
Senior National Conference leader, Nasir Aslam Wani said a “thought process” was going on between the mainstream parties. “Beyond that nothing has come so far,” Wani said.
He said if Government of India can wish to talk to Pakistan and Hurriyat, there was nothing wrong between the mainstream parties to talk to each other.
State Congress Chief, G A Mir, said there was nothing wrong in talks between the mainstream parties.
“So far there are no formal talks. When the formal meetings are held only then decisions will be taken,” Mir said, adding he was going to New Delhi for a party meeting.
He, however, has been quoted by a local news agency saying they have “sixty member team and…will see whether the governor can dissolve the House undemocratically”.
“All secular parties have come together for the bigger interest of state and public. For saving constitution may it be Article 370 and 35A, we have to rise above party lines especially when eminent dangers are bigger,” Mir said.