J&K governor Satya Pal Malik took the decision after the PDP-Congress-NC and BJP-backed Sajad Lone stake claim to form the government.
Srinagar: Governor’s rule was clamped in the state on 19 June for a 6-month period following the collapse of the PDP-BJP coalition government headed by Mehbooba Mufti after the saffron party withdrew support. The state assembly was also kept in suspended animation so that political parties could explore the possibility of forming a new government.
In a series of tweets, Mehbooba said since the past five months, regardless of political affiliations, “we shared the view that the state assembly be dissolved immediately to avert horse trading and defections.”
“Oddly enough our pleas fell on deaf ears. But who would have thought that the very idea of a grand coalition would give such jitters”.
She also said in a lighter vein that, “In today’s age of technology, it is very strange that the fax machine at the Governor’s residence didn’t receive our fax but swiftly issued one regarding the assembly dissolution.”
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said while the talks for formation of a popular government were in infancy stage, the BJP government at the Centre was so worried that they dissolved the state assembly.
“It is clear that BJP’s policy is either we or nobody,” Azad told PTI.
There was no immediate reaction from the BJP.
National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah tweeted, “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.”
In a lighter vein, Omar also said “J&K Raj Bhavan needs a new fax machine urgently”.
Omar was apparently referring to Mehbooba’s letter to the Governor that was tweeted. “Have been trying to send this letter to Rajbhavan. Strangely the fax is not received. Tried to contact Governor on phone. Not available,” she said.
Mehbooba staked the claim to form a government with the support of the Congress and the National Conference after the three parties put behind their differences in an apparent bid to preempt attempts by any other alliance to form a government with the backing of the BJP and some PDP rebels.
“You might have gathered from the media reports that the Congress and the National Conference have also decided to extend support to our party to form a government in the state….
“Since I am presently in Srinagar, it would not be possible for me 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 in the state,” Mehbooba said in her letter.
This was followed by a letter from Lone while he was in flight from London to Delhi. It was sent on Whatsapp to the governor, in which he also sought claim to form the government.
“Following our telephonic conversation (which was made midair) regarding government formation in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, I hereby formally stake claim for the government formation in the state with the support of the BJP and more than 18 other elected members of the J&K state legislature…,” he said.
Lone claimed that he would submit the letter of support from the BJP legislature party and other members supporting the government headed by him as and when asked to do so.
Earlier in the day, senior PDP leader Altaf Bukhari, a businessman-turned politician, claimed that around 60 MLAs were supporting the proposed alliance in the 87-member House.-PTI