President's rule imposed in Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference calls for immediate poll
President Ram Nath Kovind signed the proclamation paving the way for imposition of central rule in the state which plunged into a political crisis after the BJP withdrew support to the PDP government.
NEW DELHI: President's rule came into force in Jammu and Kashmir from midnight on Wednesday, the first time since 1996. President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday signed the proclamation paving the way for imposition of Central rule in the state, which plunged into a political crisis in June after the BJP withdrew its support to the PDP government led by Mehbooba Mufti.
This is the ninth time Central rule is being imposed on the insurgency-hit state. The decision has been taken after the expiry of six months of governor’s rule.
The Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, took the decision on Monday after Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik sent a report recommending imposition of President’s rule in the state.
After the proclamation, the powers of the state legislature shall be exercisable by or under the authority of Parliament. Since the state has a separate Constitution, in such cases, six months of governor’s rule is compulsory under Article 92 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution, under which all the legislative powers are vested with the governor.
Governor’s rule was imposed in the state on June 20 after the BJP, having 25 MLAs in the state Assembly, withdrew support to the PDP-led government, which had 28 lawmakers in the 87-member House.
On November 21, the governor dissolved the state Assembly after the PDP, supported by the Congress and their arch-rival National Conference, staked a claim to form the government.
Simultaneously, the two-member People’s Conference led by Sajjad Lone also staked a claim to form a government with 25 members of the BJP and another 18 unknown members.
The longest period of President’s rule was for six years, between 1990 and 1996, when there was a complete breakdown of law and order. President’s rule was first imposed in the state in March 26, 1977. It lasted 105 days after the National Conference stepped down after the Congress withdrew its support.
Hold elections: Abdullah
National Conference president and MP Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday demanded an end to Governor’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir and holding of Assembly elections.
“Governor’s rule is an autocratic rule and there is no substitute to a popular, elected government. The governor and the President’s rule in the state must come to an end. There should be elections and people must choose their representatives, who can work,” Abdullah said. He also said that troops should have fired water cannons, not bullets, on protesters in Pulwama, where seven civilians were killed.
Two PDP leaders join NC
Two disgruntled PDP leaders, Pir Mohammad Hussain, and Syed Basharat Bukhari on Wednesday joined the National Conference (NC). Hussain and Basharat were close to former PDP patron and chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Bukhari said his decision to join NC was a “mark of respect” for PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s “authoritarian wisdom”, as he was no longer able to match her level of thinking. He is the brother of slain journalist Shujaat Bukhari. Pir Hussain attributed his decision to join NC to PDP aligning with the BJP.