Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday justified his decision to dissolve the state assembly after two major parties in the valley — Omar Abdullah National Conference and Mehbooba Mufti’s Peoples Democratic Party — offered to form government, which has been suspended for months.
“The assembly dissolution was not at the wrong point but at the right point,” the Governor told was quoted as saying by NDTV.
He stated that Mufti and Abdullah — the rivals who were planning an alliance — had both asked him repeatedly to dissolve the assembly over the past few months.
‘Horse-trading from both sides’
“I was getting reports of horse-trading from both sides and the situation was very bad. Security situation here is the best at the moment, insurgency has been confined to one and a half districts, there is no pattharbazi (stone-throwing) and local body elections have been held smoothly. Creating confusion was not in the interest of the state. Nobody was in a position to say we have a majority,” Malik added.
He said he hadn’t taken the step earlier because there was no imminent reason to dissolve it. “This was because no one came with a horrible proposition to form government. Democracy was working, MLAs were getting funds. But when I saw danger inherent in such adventures, then I dissolved it,” he explained.
‘Yesterday was Eid’
The governor also responded to Mehbooba Mufti’s allegation that he didn’t receive her calls and fax staking claim to power. “Yesterday was Eid. There was no one in the Raj Bhawan to even give me food. She could have come to me the day before,” he said.
However, Malik added: “Even if I had got the fax, my decision would have been the same.” He said he had decided not to allow any government on the basis of “defections or loose arrangements”.
Justice has not been done to us: Abdullah
Meanwhile, Abdullah criticised the governor for citing horse-trading of lawmakers while dissolving the state assembly.
“Justice has not been done to us. The allegation that money was used, MLAs were bought, horse-trading was done, the governor himself has written this. This he must explain to the people of the state. Please show what evidence you have, who has used money, and where it is,” Abdullah told reporters.
‘We also had Eid’
He also attacked Malik on his explanation of the non-functional fax machine.
“If there was no staff, then who typed his letter dissolving the assembly? We also had Eid, there were people at our home.” He added: “I hope the staff at Raj Bhawan pull up their socks, so the governor is not inconvenienced this way,” Abdullah said.
Mehbooba Mufti had written to the governor that her Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had the support of 56 lawmakers, including 12 from the Congress and 15 from the National Conference. That placed her alliance comfortably ahead of the majority mark of 44 in the 87-member assembly. The second claimant to power was Sajad Lone, who has two lawmakers. The People’s Conference leader claimed the support of the BJP’s 25 legislators and “more than 18 other lawmakers”.
Jammu and Kashmir has been under Governor’s Rule since June, when the BJP ended its alliance with Mufti. The governor had kept the assembly in suspended animation instead of dissolving it, saying he didn’t want lawmakers to stop receiving their constituency development funds.