Millennium Post

Governor’s rule imposed in Jammu and Kashmir

The decision came after Governor N N Vohra submitted a report to the President last night stating that Omar Abdullah had requested to be relieved of the post of being a caretaker Chief Minister.

The report contained some suggestions including the option of a spell of Governor's rule in the wake of no party getting the number required to form a government after the highly- fractured verdict in the Assembly elections, official sources said here.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had last night forwarded the report to the Prime Minister's Office for necessary action.

Governor's rule was imposed in the state under Section 92 of Jammu and Kashmir Constitution which allows the Governor to proclaim it in case of failure of Constitutional machinery in the state.

President Pranab Mukherjee is understood to have given his concurrence for Governor's rule which has been imposed in the state for the sixth time since 1977.

Omar had said the state needed a full-time administrator to deal with the situation along the border with Pakistan and providing relief to flood-affected people in the Kashmir Valley.

He was asked to continue as caretaker Chief Minister on December 24 after his resignation in the wake of defeat of his party, National Conference (NC), in the Assembly poll results declared on December 23.

More than a fortnight after the results have been out, neither Peoples Democratic Party which emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats nor Bharatiya Janata Party with 25 could get the magic figure of 44 to stake claim to form a government. National Conference has 15 MLAs while the Congress 12.

The new Government was required to be constituted before January 19 when the term of the current Assembly expires.

Omar's decision may have also hastened the Governor's decision to send a report to the Home Ministry.

The state is witnessing such a stalemate for the second time in 12 years. A similar situation had arisen when Farooq Abdullah had asked the then Governor G C Saxena to relieve him of being a caretaker Chief Minister as PDP and Congress were taking a lot of time in cobbling up numbers to form the government.

Despite intervention by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Abdullah refused to continue as the caretaker Chief Minister and Governor's rule had to be imposed for a fortnight from October 18, 2002.

Omar, who is the Working President of National Conference, said restoration and rehabilitation in the wake of the floods was suffering as accountable administration was absent besides there was a humanitarian problem on the border.

"Yet the @jkpdp would like the limbo to continue as people suffer only so the Mufti can force a 6 yr term as CM from the BJP," he tweeted.

He termed as "amazing" PDP's contention that NC's offer of support to in in government formation was non-serious.

"I'm sorry after an election with such a good turnout we have a situation of Governor's rule but as I've maintained the onus lies with "JKPDP," he said.

PDP maintained that it was in talks with various political parties for formation of a stable government in the state.

"We are in touch with different parties as informal channels are open with all parties," party spokesman Naeem Akhtar said in Srinagar.

"We are hopeful that we will be able to form a stable government soon," he said, indicating that Governor's rule may last only for a brief period.

Asked if fresh election in the state was a possibility, Akhtar said, "we will discuss the situation if it comes to that".

In Delhi, Bharatiya Janata Party said it was an "evolving" situation in J-K and that Governor's rule was imposed owing to constitutional limitation of time and reluctance of Omar to continue as caretaker CM.

"It is an evolving situation", Union Minister and senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said in response to questions from reporters.
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