Wednesday, November 21, 2018
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J&K Governor dissolves Assembly after rival alliances stake claim to form govt
Governor Satya Pal Malik.

J&K Governor dissolves Assembly after rival alliances stake claim to form govt

21 Nov 2018 | 10:27 PM

SRINAGAR/JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday dissolved state Assembly under the relevant provisions in Jammu and Kashmir constitution, an official communique said.

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Tribune News Service
Srinagar, November 21

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday dissolved state Assembly under the relevant provisions in Jammu and Kashmir constitution, an official communique said.

Earlier, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti staked claim to form a government with the support of the Congress and the National Conference. Soon, People's Conference leader Sajad Lone staked his claim to form government with the help of 25-member BJP.

In a letter to Governor Satya Pal Malik, PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti said, "Peoples Democratic Party is the largest party in the state assembly having a strength of 29. The Congress and National Conference have also decided to extend support to our party to form a government in the state. National Conference has a strength of 15 and the Congress 12. That takes our collective strength to 56." 

"Since I am presently in Srinagar, it would not be possible for me 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 Mufti said.

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.

Until news of the dissolution came, former Finance and Education Minister Altaf Bukhari was reportedly 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.

Mufti said the Raj Bhavan in the winter capital Jammu strangely had not received her letter that was faxed. She said she was trying to contact the Governor over telephone.

Hectic developments marked the day with consultations between leaders of the parties in the valley after reports emerged that the BJP was trying to form a government with support of rebel MLAs from the PDP along with the backing of Lone's party.

The developments came five months after the BJP pulled out of the Mehbooba Mufti government leading to the fall of the PDP-BJP collation that lasted for over two years.

The political developments also assume significance in view of the fact that that tenure of the Governor's rule is ending next month, which will be followed by President's rule if no government is formed.

Bukhari called on National Conference vice president and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to discuss the modalities of a possible government formation by the PDP and the Congress with NC's support.

The reports of a possible government formation by the PDP and the Congress with NC's external support got some credence with senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad confirming to some reporters that talks were going on between the three parties to cobble an alliance that would keep the BJP out of power in the state.

Senior PDP leader and Lok Sabha member Muzaffar Hussain Baig ruffled many a feather on Tuesday when he expressed his willingness to join Sajad Lone if a third front was formed in the state. — With agency inputs

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