In a surprise move, the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the state’s legislative assembly just within an hour’s announcement of a coalition between regional parties- People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conference (NC) with Congress.
The dissolution came just minutes after former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti announced o Twitter about forming a government with her arch rivals – NC and Congress. The Governor’s office, in a press statement said “the coming together of such parties in a grouping is nothing but an attempt to gain power rather than form a responsive government.”
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On CNN-News18 Malik defended his decision to dissolve the assembly. He said he could not allow an unworkable alliance the right to form the government in the state. Malik has landed himself into a controversy after describing the NC-PDP alliance as ‘unholy’. “This was a power hungry alliance and for self-preservation, to avoid split in their respective parties. There has been a lot of dissatisfaction among both the parties. Moreover, there were reports of extensive horse trading and possible exchange of money in order to secure the support of the legislators,” said Malik.
NC leader Omar Abdullah has taken strongly to the ‘unholy’ alliance remark. He has asked the Governor how he could brand the NC-PDP-Congress alliance ‘unholy’ when the state has already witnessed an ideologically opposed coalition that of PDP-BJP.
The Governor said NC and PDP had been opposed to the urban and rural local body elections. He said “This government formation attempts would have adversely hit the security forces and police efforts to successfully conduct the ongoing Panchayat elections.”
Malik stands steadfast on his decision of dissolving the assembly. He justified it saying that MLAs were receiving terrorist threats. The Indian Express stated him saying “I had been receiving reports from various quarters including intelligence agencies for the last week to ten days that in efforts to form the government, the atmosphere has been made vicious.”