J&K Assembly dissolved: BJP terms PDP-Congress-NC alliance 'terror-friendly', seeks fresh polls; rivals term dissolution 'odd'
The BJP on Wednesday 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'. Former chief minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti said that the very idea of a grand coalition in Jammu and Kashmir has given the BJP jitters, after the dissolution of the state assembly by the governor.
The BJP on Wednesday welcomed Governor Satya Pal Malik's decision to dissolve the Jammu and Kashmir State Assembly, saying the best option for the border state is to have fresh Assembly polls at the earliest. The BJP also slammed the PDP-NC-Congress alliance as a "combination of terror-friendly parties".
However, former chief minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti, criticised the governor's abrupt decision, saying the very idea of a grand coalition in Jammu and Kashmir has given the BJP jitters.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said on Twitter, soon after Malik dissolved the Assembly amid claims by rival formations on forming a government, that Jammu and Kashmir cannot afford horse-trading and instability keeping its security scenario in mind.
"The proposed alliance between the Congress and the PDP broke up even before it was formed. They have taken contradictory positions on dissolution. One supports it and the other opposes it," the BJP said. "The best option in such a scenario is to go for a fresh election at the earliest. This Assembly cannot produce a stable government," it added.
The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly was abruptly dissolved by the governor on Wednesday night 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.
The dissolution was announced by Malik in a communique released by the Raj Bhavan.
In Jammu, the BJP's state unit chief Ravinder Raina said, "We welcome the decision of the governor to dissolve the legislative Assembly. We welcome it."
The bid by the PDP, NC and the Congress "was a conspiracy against the people of Jammu and Ladakh (regions). It was conspiracy against nationalist people and also against the country at the behest of some forces".
"We not only welcome the decision but thank the governor for foiling the conspiracy hatched by these anti-national and anti-country forces," he added.
Questioning the letter written by Mufti staking claim to form a government, Raina said it was her own MLA Raza Ansari who challenged her by saying that he has 16 PDP MLAs with him supporting Sajad Lone of the People's Conference.
Former chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said Governor Satyapal Malik's decision to dissolve the Assembly "cannot be a coincidence" as it came within minutes after Mehbooba Mufti staked claim to form the government.
Mehbooba tweeted, "In my twenty six year old career as a politician, I thought I had seen it all! But like they say never say never! Nevertheless, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to @OmarAbdullah and @Ambikasoni4 ji for helping us achieve the seemingly impossible."
In a series of tweets, she said since the past five months, regardless of political affiliations, the (PDP, NC and Congress) shared the view that the state Assembly be dissolved immediately to avert horse-trading and defections, however, their pleas fell on deaf ears.
"But who would have thought that the very idea of a grand coalition would give such jitters," she said.
The former chief minister also tweeted a picture of the letter, staking claim of the government.
Sending the letter also by mail https://t.co/116mpfOrpo
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) November 21, 2018
In a lighter vein, Mufti also mentioned how it was strange that the governor did not receive the fax. "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."
Abdullah also said that his party had been pressing for the dissolution of the state Assembly for the last five months.
"JKNC has been pressing for Assembly dissolution for five months now. It can't be a coincidence that within minutes of Mehbooba Mufti Sahiba letter staking claim, the order to dissolve the Assembly suddenly appears," Abdullah tweeted minutes after the governor's decision to dissolve the state Assembly.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said that while the talks for formation of a popular government were in its infancy, the BJP government at the Centre was so worried that they dissolved the state Assembly.
"It is clear that BJP's policy is either we or nobody," Azad told PTI.
Former BJP leader and former union minister Yashwant Sinha also criticised the abrupt dissolution of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, saying it was the latest example of the BJP to not let anyone form government even if that meant bypassing the Constitution.
The Trinamool Congress criticised the sudden dissolution of the Jammu and Kashmir assembly on Wednesday night and accused the BJP of having no respect for the Constitution.
"The BJP have no respect for the constitution and destroying every institution in the country," TMC national spokesperson and leader of Rajya Sabha parliamentary party Derek O' Brien told PTI.
Governor's rule was clamped in the state on 19 June for a six-month period following the collapse of the PDP-BJP coalition government after the saffron party withdrew support. The state Assembly was also kept in suspended animation so that political parties could explore the possibility of forming a new government.
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Raids were conducted at the residences of editor-in-chief of a weekly magazine, a reporter working for a Turkish media outlet, a freelance reporter and a reporter who has been associated with several local publications
The Trinamool party, encouraged by its landslide victory in the Bengal Assembly polls this year, has now set eyes on the two BJP-ruled states in the Northeast - Assam and Tripura