New Delhi: Slamming the attempt by Mehbooba Mufti-lef PDP and the National Conference to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday alleged that the two parties are working on “instructions from across the border”.
“PDP and NC boycotted local body polls last month because they had instructions from across the border. Probably they had fresh instructions from across the border to come together and form government. What they did prompted Governor to look into the whole issue,” said BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav.
Hitting out at PDP president and former Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti, who alleged that the Governor didn’t receive her calls and fax staking claim to power, Madhav termed it a “lame excuse” and said that Mufti, in her letter to Malik, did not claim that she will form a government.
“Only Governor can answer why Governor home’s fax is not working. Only he should answer. But this is lame excuse on the part of Madam Mehbooba. In letter, she never claimed that she will form the government, she said I’ll come and see you and stake the claim. It was all a drama,” he said.
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Hitting back at Ram Madhav, Omar Abdullah challenged the former to either prove the charges levelled by him or apologise.
“I dare you @rammadhavbjp ji to prove your allegation. You have RAW, NIA & IB at your command (CBI too is your parrot) so have the guts to place evidence in the public domain. Either prove this or be man enough to apologise. Don’t practice shoot & scoot politics (sic),” he tweeted.
“No, misplaced attempts at humour won’t work. You HAVE claimed my party has been acting at the behest of Pakistan. I dare you to prove it! Place the evidence of your allegation of NC boycott of ULB polls at Pak behest in public domain. It’s an open challenge to you & your Govt,” Abdullah added.
Governor Satyapal Malik on Wednesday evening abruptly dissolved the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly hours after the PDP staked claim to form a government with the backing of rival National Conference and the Congress, followed by another bid from the two-member People’s Conference which claimed the support of the BJP and 18 legislators from other parties.
In another late-night communique, the Governor 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”.
Malik also raised “serious doubts” about the longevity of any such arrangement where there are competing claims of majority and highlighted “fragile security scenario” and the need for “a supportive environment” for security forces.
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.”
Governor Malik’s decision invited severe criticism from the opposition parties who termed it as “unconstitutional” and done on BJP’s directions. On the other hand, the BJP welcomed the move and said that fresh elections are the best option in Jammu and Kashmir is to have fresh assembly polls at the earliest.
The saffron party 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 a 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.