Asserting that the Centre is committed to a “democratic process” and ready to hold Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that President’s rule in the state was recommended as no other option was left, for no party staked claim to form an alternative government.
Replying to a discussion on the resolution on a presidential proclamation about the imposition of President’s Rule in the state, Singh said the Centre is taking all measures to improve conditions in the state.
“Till we are in power, no wrong or unethical work will be allowed to happen in Jammu and Kashmir… Although it is responsibility of the Election Commission to hold election, we are ready for it. We are ready to provide security as desired by the Commission to hold elections,” he said.
The Minister denied opposition charge that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tried to form government with a regional party just ahead of the dissolution of the state Assembly by Governor Satya Pal Malik.
“There must not be any doubt about the intentions of the government. If the BJP wanted to form government by indulging in horse trading, then it would have done so during the six-month Governor’s Rule. We did not try to form government, neither during the six months of the Governor rule nor in the last days (before the dissolution of Asssembly),” he said.
Singh said that the President’s rule was imposed because none of the political parties or groups came forward to stake a claim to form the government.
He said then Governor N.N. Vohra had sent a report to the President in June after Mehbooba Mufti resigned, saying he weighed all the options before the political parties including the BJP and the Congress, but they did not express intention to form the government.
“In December, I myself talked to Governor (Malik) and enquired whether anyone was willing to form the government. He said ‘no’. The next day I got to know from newspapers that the PDP, Congress and the National Conference (NC) were planning to form the government. Later, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad refuted such claims. So, there was no option left with the Governor but to recommend President’s Rule in the state,” he said.
NC leader Farooq Abdullah countered Singh’s claim, saying an effort to form the government was made but the Governor dissolved the Assembly without allowing the parties to prove their majority in the House.
“We were ready to give outside support to the PDP and so was the Congress. A fax was sent but the fax machine was not working. Even his phone was not working. I would like to say that Governor House is not the place to prove majority…it is the Assembly where majority is proven. Governor didn’t wait and dissolved it which was wrong,” Abdullah said.
Responding to it Singh agreed that the majority is proven on the floor of the House and not at the Governor’s House.
Singh said that problem in Kashmir is old and serious and cited efforts of the government taken to improve the situation including recent Panchayat polls which saw high voting percentage.
Besides, he said the government has given its nod to establish five battalions of Indian Reserve Battalion and two of border battalions in the state.
“The employment process, too, has been completed by the state government,” he added.