Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah on Thursday questioned the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over People’s Democratic Party (PDP’s) alliance with National Conference (NC) and Congress. Abdullah asked the saffron party if PDP’s alliance with BJP wasn’t terror-friendly?
He also hit out at Governor Satya Pal Malik over the latter’s sudden decision to dissolve the state Assembly on Wednesday. Speaking to media persons, the NC veteran said that he had hopes from the Governor, but he ‘turned out to be another slave of the Centre’.
Terming the development in Jammu and Kashmir as “sad”, the former chief minister demanded that the post of Governor should be looked into.
“I had a lot of hopes from this Governor, but this is very sad. He has turned out to be another slave of the Centre. The post of Governor needs to be looked into. Why did he wait five months to dissolve Assembly?” said Farooq Abdullah.
After Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday dissolved the state assembly in a move intended to nip the efforts by PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti staked claim to form a government with the backing of rival National Conference and its old ally Congress.
Malik cited four main reasons for dissolving the Assembly with immediate effect, including “extensive horse-trading and possible exchange of money” and the “impossibility” of forming a stable government by parties with “opposing political ideologies”.
Governor Malik’s decision has left the opposition fuming, which termed the move “unconstitutional” and alleged that the Governor dissolving the assembly was on BJP’s directions, which is feeling jitters due to the alliance.
On the other hand, the BJP welcomed the decision and said the best option in Jammu and Kashmir is to have fresh assembly polls at the earliest as it slammed the proposed alliance of opposition parties as a “combination of terror-friendly parties”.
The dissolution of the assembly, which was in suspended animation since June 19, marked the culmination of a day-long high-voltage political drama in which Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti wrote to governor that her party, which has 29 MLAs, backed by the National Conference and the Congress with 15 and 12 legislators respectively intended to stake claim for formation of the government.
The collective strength of the three parties was 56, well above the required number of 44 for a majority in the 87-member assembly, Mehbooba, a former chief minister, said.
Things moved swiftly thereafter with Sajad Lone, leader of the People’s Conference, which has one MLA besides him, also sending a WhatsApp communication to Malik from midair staking his claim for government formation with the support of the 25-member BJP and “more than 18 other elected members” whose names he did not provide.
The Governor, who had declared days ago that the assembly would not be dissolved, then lost no time in going for dissolution invoking the relevant sections of the state constitution.
The dissolution paves the way for fresh elections in the state amid speculation that it could be held with the Lok Sabha polls due early next year.
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.