J-K Governor Satyapal Malik dissolves state assembly

Srinagar [Jammu and Kashmir]: With talks of an alliance ready to take shape in Jammu and Kashmir between the National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Congress, Governor Satyapal Malik has issued an order to dissolve the state assembly.

Malik’s decision came shortly after PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti expressed her desire to stake claim to form the government in the state under the aegis of the alliance.

“By virtue of powers vested upon me in terms of Proclamation No. P-1/18 of 2018 dated 20 June 2018 issued under sub-section (1) of section 92 and in exercise of the powers conferred upon me by clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 53 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, I hereby dissolve the Legislative Assembly,” read an official statement from the state governor’s office.

In a letter addressed to Malik, Mufti had sought an appointment from the governor to stake a claim for formation of the state government.

“As you are aware that Peoples Democratic Party is the largest party in the State assembly having a strength of 29. You might have gathered from the media reports that the Congress and National Conference have also decided to extend support to our party to form a government in the State. National Conference has a strength of 15 and the Congress 12. That takes our collective strength to 56,” Mufti wrote in the letter.

“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,” she added.

Earlier today, the three parties confirmed their alliance in a bid to preserve the state’s special status (Article 370).

Speaking to ANI, PDP leader Altaf Bukhari confirmed the alliance and said, “My leadership has confirmed it to us that the three parties (Congress, PDP, and NC) have agreed to make a coalition to defend the special identity of the state politically and legally. Very soon you will get good news.”

Meanwhile, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad added, “We thought, why not unite and form the government? We have not yet arrived at the stage where we will form the government, but we are working towards it.”

The BJP had, in June this year, broken their alliance with the Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP citing examples of growing acts of “terrorism, violence, and radicalisation” in the state over the past few years.

Mufti had resigned as the Chief Minister of the state soon after the alliance ended, forcing the imposition of President’s rule in the state.

The differences between the BJP and the PDP cropped up following the Centre’s decision to resume anti-terror operations in the state, which were suspended during the holy month of Ramzan.