Jammu and Kashmir Governor advocates early assembly election in the state

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Satya Pal Malik, the governor of Jammu and Kashmir has recommended holding early election to the State Assembly as he does not think a popular government can be formed out of the present house after the BJP-PDP coalition government crumbled in June. He was speaking to the reporters at the Police Commemoration day function at Zewan.

As the BJP withdrew its support from Peoples Democratic Party, the then chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had to resign from the office in June. Since then the state is under President’s rule. No party has a majority in the 87-member Assembly. While PDP has 28 MLAs, the BJP has 25 and the National Conference 15 seats. There have been conjecture that efforts are being put together to form a new government. However, the governor of state rubbished such rumors and said that he would have nno role in such affairs, reported PTI.

Clarifying his stance, Malik told, “I don’t think so. At least, I will not be part of any ‘dhandli’ (shenanigans). I have not been given any such indication either by the Prime Minister or by any other central leader”.

Answering a question regarding holding of fresh elections to the Assembly whose tenure ends in December 2020, Malik said that he wanted the elections to be held at the earliest. The decision will be taken by the Centre and the Election Commission. My job is to discharge dual responsibility (of Governor and administrator) which I will continue to do. I wish that elections are held at the earliest,” he said.

Talking about the much controversial Article 35A, the governor said, “We will inform the Supreme Court that we are not an elected government and request that the matter be deferred till an elected government is in place”. The article 35 A of the Constitution empowers the state legislature to define the permanent residents and provide them special rights.

In an order dated 31 August, the apex court had directed that the matter to be listed in the second week of January next year. The state has seen massive protests for the challenge to Article 35A and prompted two major mainstream parties, the National Conference and the PDP, to boycott the recent local body elections, results of which were declared Sunday.

 

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