Help The Kashmir Monitor sustain so that we continue to be editorially independent. Remember, your contributions, however small they may be, matter to us.

LS approves Prez rule in JK, Oppn calls it ‘unconstitutional’

New Delhi, Dec 28: The Lok Sabha on Friday passed amid din a statutory resolution approving the proclamation of President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir even as the opposition parties objected, and termed it as “unconstitutional”.

The resolution was moved by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed a brief discussion after the motion was passed and adopted, terming it a “special case”.

President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir follows if the governor’s rule extends beyond six months.

Initiating the debate, Shashi Tharoor of the Congress said Governor Satya Mal Malik acted in “gross violation” of a Supreme Court order in the S.R. Bommai case that had stated that whether an alliance has a majority or not can be decided only on the floor of the assembly.

The governor’s “private assessment” is anathema to the Constitution and is also subject to personal malfeasance, he said

Malik’s decision to impose governor’s rule after the NC, PDP and the Congress made a move to form the government in the state was also in “violation” of the Sarkaria commission’s guidelines on Centre-state relations, he said.

Tharoor also objected to Malik’s rejection of the alliance as a tie-up of parties of ideological variance, saying he should not have arrived at a political determination and added that the earlier alliance of the PDP and the BJP was also a case of “unnatural marriage”.

He suggested that Malik’s action was unconstitutional and asked Home Minister Rajnath Singh to share the reasons Malik cited for his action.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed the discussion as a “special case” even as the House had already adopted the resolution moved by Singh earlier in the day.

Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congress also termed the governor’s decision as “arbitrary” and “unconstitutional”.

He also accused the central government of “collusion” and claimed that it propped up the rival alliance led by Sajad Lone, who had the support of “only two MLAs”.

The government has “failed” in the state, he said and added that over 900 persons have died in militancy-related incidents there so far this year.

BJD’s Bhartruhari Majtab supported the resolution, saying the governor’s rule in the state had become necessary and noted that its two main regional parties, the NC and PDP, boycotted the panchayat polls.

He said assembly elections should be held in the state along with the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

AIADMK’s P. Venugopal expressed his party’s opposition to the imposition of governor’s rule as a matter of principle and asked the Centre to explain the reasons for taking such an “extreme” step.

Supriya Sule of the NCP said it is not the time for bullets in the state and called for holding elections there.

Guv House no place for proving majority: Farooq

New Delhi, Dec 28: National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah Friday questioned in the Lok Sabha the Jammu and Kashmir Governor’s decision to dissolve the state assembly.

Voicing concern over the situation in the Kashmir Valley, he also advocated talks with Pakistan for restoration of peace.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister made these remarks while participating in the debate on the statutory resolution for proclamation of President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir.

Referring to the proposed NC-PDP-Cong alliance to form government in the state, he said, “The fax machine of the J&K governor was not working, his phone was not working and I would like to say that Governor’s House is not the place to prove majority but the assembly is. Governor didn’t wait and dissolved it.”

Expressing anguish over the situation in the Jammu and Kashmir, he said the state is going through great “turmoil” and the turmoil does not seem to end.

“The solution to the problems of the state is not through the police and the Army. The unfortunate killing of civilians needs to be stopped, it further worsens the situation.

Something has to be done immediately,” he said.

Advocating talks with Pakistan, Farooq reminded the ruling BJP of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s remarks that “we can change our friends but not our neighbours”.

“For peace…we have to find some way of talking to the neighbouring country (Pakistan),” he said.

“For the sake of India, Kashmir needs to be given priority. The state has been suffering a lot. It can suffer more. I urge all of you here to please help us get the state back to normal,” he said. (PTI)