Srinagar, Nov 22: A day after the JK Assembly was dissolved, National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah said on Thursday that his party backed its rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in government formation to save the state from “current mess and uncertainty”.
Addressing a press conference here, Omar said, “We categorically told Mehbooba Mufti that we will provide outside support to the government, but won’t be a part of it. I and Farooq Sahab (Farooq Abdullah) told her that NC doesn’t need the chief minister’s chair. We wanted to protect the special status of the state.”
He ruled out contesting elections in alliance with the PDP or Congress.
“We don’t want return of 1987 situation, when only fringe parties were left alone. We extended support to the PDP after the Assembly polls to keep the BJP at bay. Had they accepted our support, this situation would not have arisen.”
The NC and Congress decided to support PDP for forming a tri-party government in the state, where Assembly had been in suspended animation since PDP had lost BJP’s support in the summer.
Following the unexpected union, PDP President, Mehbooba Mufti, stacked claim about government formation with the support of 56 MLAs.
She tweeted in the evening that she had written an email to the Governor, after failing to reach him through fax or phone.
Soon after, the Governor, Satya Pal Malik, announced dissolution of the J&K Assembly, leaving no room for government formation in the state without fresh elections.
Malik sought to justify his decision by saying that he was forced to make it by “extensive horse-trading, possible exchange of money”, and the “impossibility” of forming a stable government by the parties with “opposing political ideologies”.
Omar demanded an investigation into the charges of horse-treading and money exchange levelled by the Governor.
“Governor has to produce evidence about who indulged in horse-trading and used the money. He has to present facts on whose behest money was exchanged,” he demanded.
Omar said they would not challenge the Governor’s dissolution of the Assembly.
“The PDP can challenge it and take a legal recourse. We don’t have any document on the basis of which we can challenge it,” he said.
He said the party has hired legal experts for protection of JK’s special status in the Supreme Court.
Over claims of Governor that it would have been an unstable government, he said, “If link-minded people come together, why Governor not asked the PDP-BJP when they formed the government despite having different ideologies. We (NC, Congress, and PDP) have less differences then PDP-BJP.”
He said that non-functioning of fax machine at Raj Bhawan was happening for the first time in the history of JK.
“It is a bizarre fax machine. Incoming fax doesn’t reach them, but an outgoing fax can be sent. We can joke about it, but this should be investigated,” he said.
Omar said that Assembly elections shall be held along with parliamentary polls in the state before May next year.
Omar also dared BJP National Secretary, Ram Madhav, to either prove his allegation that the National Conference boycotted the local body polls and also came together with PDP and Congress to form an alliance at the behest of Pakistan or “be man enough to apologise”.
“You cannot undermine the sacrifices made by National Conference workers in protecting the sovereignty of this country. My 3000 workers have sacrificed their lives for the country more than Madhav’s party has given because they refused indications from Pakistan,” he said.
The six-month tenure of the governor’s rule ends on December 18 which will be followed by President’s Rule.
The state Assembly’s tenure was till October 2020. Governor’s rule was clamped in the state on June 19 for a 6-month period following the collapse of the PDP-BJP coalition government headed by Mehbooba Mufti after the saffron party withdrew support.