SRINAGAR: Questioning the Mehbooba Mufti government's silence on the alleged involvement of BJP leaders in a land row in Jammu, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah has called for the immediate imposition of governor's rule in the state.
The National Conference patron and Lok Sabha MP said his party had never been a promoter of governor's rule but it appeared to be the only way to arrest growing unrest in the state, which he asserted is fast slipping into anarchy under the PDP-BJP government.
"We feel it is the right time for the governor to take over. Leave the assembly in suspended animation and let the people of the state enjoy the fruits of democracy," Abdullah told PTI.
He referred to the controversy over the purchase of land, through a company, by top BJP leaders, including state Assembly Speaker Nirmal Singh and Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta, near an Army ammunition depot in Nagrota in Jammu. "Why is there silence from the state government?" Abdullah asked.
Nirmal Singh has begun constructing a house on a 2,000 sq metre plot, which is part of an estimated 12 acres bought in 2014, prompting strong protests from Jammu-based 16 Corps Commander Lt General Saranjeet Singh.
Saranjeet Singh has said the construction is illegal and "has implications on the security of a major ammunition storage facility as well as the safety of all personnel living in close vicinity of the ammunition depot".
While Nirmal Singh was former deputy chief minister, Gupta was former speaker. Both have denied any wrongdoing. The army has moved the Jammu and Kashmir High Court against the construction being undertaken by Nirmal Singh.
According to Abdullah, all three regions of the state feel betrayed. There is the feeling that there is no governance and nothing seems to move with projects held up, he said.
"Recently, you must have seen how an ex-deputy chief minister and the then speaker have been involved in multiple land deals and other activities which are illegal. No action has been taken on it and no one except the army is speaking," Abdullah said.
The former chief minister said people felt things were on the right track during the three months of governor's rule from January till beginning of April in 2016 after the death of the then chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed.
"Files that had not moved, moved within days and there was equal treatment for everyone. There was a sort of fresh air that had suddenly emerged from the darkness," he said.