November 2018 News

Mehbooba-Omar Checkmate BJP

21 November 2018
Kashmir Observer

Srinagar: In a sudden development, the Governor late on Wednesday dissolved the State Assembly, which has been in suspended animation, shortly after rival alliances staked claim to form the government. Governor's rule was clamped in J&K on June 19 for a six-month period following the collapse of the PDP-BJP coalition government after the saffron party withdrew support. The State Assembly was also kept in suspended animation so that political parties could explore the possibility of forming a new government. The decision by Governor Satya Pal Malik to dissolve the State assembly came shortly after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the National Conference and the Congress came together and staked claim to form a government in a bid to checkmate moves by the Bharatiya Janata Party to form a government with the support of PDP rebels and Lone. Late in the evening, former Chief Minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti wrote to the Governor saying the Congress and National Conference had decided to extend support to her party to form a government in the troubled state. This was countered by Lone, who also wrote to the Governor staking claim to form the government with BJP's backing. He claimed the support of 18 MLAs besides the 25-strong BJP, contending that it was more than the required number for majority. Mufti, in her letter to the Governor, said that with a strength of 29 MLAs of its own, the PDP would have a collective strength of 56 MLAs including 15 of National Conference and 12 of the Congress. 'Since I'm presently in Srinagar, it would not be possible to call on you immediately and this is to keep you informed that we would be seeking your convenience shortly to stake the claim for forming the government in the state,' Mehbooba wrote to the Governor who was said to be away in Chandigarh for a wedding. Until news of the dissolution came, former Finance and Education Minister Altaf Bukhari was widely tipped to be the next Chief Minister of the PDP-led collation. In the 87-member House, the BJP has 25 MLAs, all from Jammu, and claims the support of Kashmir Valley-based Peoples Conference which has two MLAs.