Jammu and Kashmir was brought under Governor’s Rule on Wednesday following President Ram Nath Kovind’s approval, a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pulled out of its ruling alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This is for the eighth time in four decades that Governor’s Rule has been imposed in J&K.
Governor NN Vohra sought Kovind’s approval on Tuesday after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti tendered her resignation following the BJP’s decision to break the alliance formed after 2014 Assembly elections.
Vohra’s recommendations for imposition of the Governor’s Rule was made under Section 92 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, which allows the state to be placed under the rule for six months. If an elected government fails to take office within six months, the state can then be placed under the President’s Rule.
Jammu and Kashmir has a constitution of its own, which runs concomitantly with the Indian Constitution.
It is for the fourth time that Vohra will be running the affairs of the state administration directly.
Announcing its surprise move to withdraw of support to the PDP, the BJP said on Tuesday it had become “untenable” to continue in the government in view of the growing radicalism and terrorism in the state.
Following the announcement, Mehbooba Mufti tendered her resignation as the CM and Governor N N Vohra recommended imposition of Central rule in his report to President Ram Nath Kovind, a copy of which was also forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Vohra forwarded his report after concluding his consultations with all major political parties on government formation in Jammu and Kashmir.
A Raj Bhavan spokesman said Governor Vohra received a letter by fax, jointly signed by state BJP president Ravinder Raina and BJP Legislature Party leader Kavinder Gupta in the afternoon, which informed him of the BJP’s decision to withdraw support to the coalition government.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti then tendered her resignation.
Vohra then spoke to Kavinder Gupta and Mehbooba Mufti to ascertain whether their respective parties intended to explore alternative alliances to form government in the state. As both parties replied in the negative, the Governor also spoke to J&K Congress Party president GA Mir, who said his party did not have the required numbers to form government on its own or in alliance.
Later, NN Vohra met National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah too who said there was no alternative to Governor’s Rule and fresh elections.
Keeping in view the reluctance of all parties to stake their claim to form the government, Vohra has sent his report to President Ram Nath Kovind.
Incidentally, Vohra’s term of office was slated to end on June 25. The President on Tuesday extended his term of office for three more months.
According to an IANS report, Vohra has expressed his desire not to seek another term of extension. He will be completing 10 years in office on June 25.
Unless Vohra agrees to continue, the state will see a new Governor by September 25.