No Govt In Sight, Governor's Rule Imposed In J&K

9 January 2015
Times of India

New Delhi: With no government in sight and with defeated Chief Minister Omar Abdullah refusing to continue as caretaker, Jammu & Kashmir has been put under Governor's rule with effect from Thursday. Omar Abdullah expressed his disinclination to continue as CM on Thursday, in what the ruling circles saw as a move to thwart the efforts of BJP and PDP to explore the possibility of a coalition. BJP sources said the move will not thwart the effort, pointing out that the state would have had to put under Governor's rule by January 19 in any case. They said that given their wide divergence, both sides need time to work out details. 'Sorting out issues like who should lead the coalition and who should be the deputy CM are easy parts. It is reconciling the stances of two parties on issues like Armed Forces Special Powers Act and PDP's stance favouring soft borders which have proven to be tougher nuts. Without a modicum of understanding on these and other sensitive issues we cannot even start formal negotiations,' said a senior BJP functionary as he explained that state would have had to put under Governor's rule even if Abdullah had not quit as caretaker CM. The proclamation placing the state under Governor's rule was issued under Section 92 of the Constitution of J&K. This provision authorises the Governor to assume functions and powers of a state government in case he is satisfied that the latter cannot function in accordance with the provisions of the state's Constitution. 'After receiving concurrence from the President of India, under Section 92(5) of the Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir, Governor N N Vohra, issued a Proclamation under Section 92(1) of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir to impose Governor's Rule in the state,' a J&K Raj Bhavan statement said on Friday. After Omar called on Vohra late on Wednesday seeking to be relieved as the caretaker chief minister, the latter had sent a report to New Delhi conveying a 'political deadlock' and recommended Governor's rule as a way out of the impasse. The file was forwarded to the President for his concurrence, which came on Friday. As Abdullah stepped down as caretaker chief minister on Thursday, Vohra pitched for the state being placed under Governor's rule the same day. Governor's rule, therefore, takes effect from January 8. Omar had tweeted on Thursday: 'Just to confirm I did meet Gov Vohra sahib last night and asked him to relieve me as caretaker CM. I had agreed to stay temporarily ... Given the situation on the border and 10,000 displaced, the hardships of winter and the continuing need for relief for flood affected, I believe the interests of the state will only be served by a full-time administrator and not a caretaker with no mandate to govern.' While PDP on Friday accused NC of forcing a situation that necessitated Governor's rule ahead of the January 19 deadline, NC chief Omar Abdullah blamed PDP for delaying government formation to 'negotiate a six-year term for Mufti Mohammad Sayeed'. BJP President Amit Shah, meanwhile, said in Vijayawada that his party would continue to talk to both PDP and NC to explore options to form government in the state. Blaming Omar, PDP said he had followed the footsteps of his father (Farooq Abdullah) who refused to be caretaker CM in 2002. 'It is Omar Abdullah who has acted in the irresponsible manner and violated the democratic conventions developed in this country that a government voted out of power is asked to take care of the routine governance till next government sworn in,' PDP chief spokesperson Naeem Akhtar said. 'We have repeatedly said that PDP is keeping its informal channels open with all the parties in the hope of forming the government on the basis of common minimum agenda. But Omar suddenly threw the tantrum and decided to quit,' said Akhtar adding that Omar perhaps thought he would scare PDP to do something that would fit NC's 'game plan'. The polls for the 87-member assembly threw up a hung House with PDP emerging as the single largest party with 28 seats, followed by BJP with 25, National Conference 15 and Congress 12 seats. A home ministry official said Governor's rule in J&K could be revoked the moment any party or political formation was in a position to form the government and staked claim.