Governor Satya Pal Malik dissolves J&K Assembly, scuppers PDP-NC-Congress; Sajjad Lone bids to form govt

Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the state Assembly on Wednesday after both the PDP-NC-Congress combine and the Peoples Conference-led alliance approached him to stake a claim to form the government.

The development comes less than a month before the end of Governor's Rule on 19 December. PDP president Mehbooba Mufti wrote to Malik to inform him that her party, National Conference, and the Congress will "shortly" approach him to stake claim to form the government. The three parties held serious parleys early on Wednesday to discuss the modalities of government formation. Despite the parties coming together, they still faced some hurdle in getting in touch with the governor. Mufti took to Twitter to share the issue:

"Sending the letter also by mail," she said in another mail.

Mufti, in her letter, said, "As you are aware that the 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." The NC had 15 MLAs, while the Congress had 12. The three parties together will have majority in the 87-member House. The BJP is the second largest party in the state with 25 members.

Soon after, People Conference leader Sajjad Lone, who had been reportedly approaching disgruntled PDP leaders for forming an alliance with the BJP, also wrote to the governor and staked claim to form the government.

In his letter, Lone said he had the support of BJP and more than 18 other MLAs. "I will form a strong and politically-stable government for restoring peace, harmony, and prosperity in the state and would work towards overall development in all three regions of the state," he said.

Interestingly, Lone was able to reach the governor by just sending a WhatsApp message to his personal assistant.

The Raj Bhawan released an order to announce Malik's move to dissolve the Assembly. The Assembly was under suspended animation ever since the BJP parted ways with the erstwhile Mehbooba Mufti government.

It needs to be noted that the governor had said on 16 November that the state Assembly would not be dissolved, even if the state was placed under President's Rule in December.

However, he earlier also said that he was in favour of holding early elections in the state as he did not think a popular government can be formed out of the present House.

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Updated Date: Nov 22, 2018 07:39:03 IST

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