Congress, opposition parties term Governor’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir unconstitutional

Srinagar: Opposition parties Friday termed the imposition of Governor’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir as “unconstitutional” during a discussion in the Lok Sabha on a statutory resolution that approved President’s rule in the state.

President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir follows if the Governor’s rule extends beyond six months.

Initiating the debate, Shashi Tharoor of the Congress said Governor Satya Mal Malik acted in “gross violation” of a Supreme Court order in the S R Bommai case that had stated that whether an alliance has a majority or not can be decided only on the floor of the assembly.

The governor’s “private assessment” is anathema to the Constitution and is also subject to personal malfeasance, he said

Malik’s decision to impose Governor’s rule after the NC, PDP and the Congress made a move to form the government in the state was also in “violation” of the Sarkaria commission’s guidelines on Centre-state relations, he said.

Tharoor also objected to Malik’s rejection of the alliance as a tie-up of parties of ideological variance, saying he should not have arrived at a political determination and added that the earlier alliance of the PDP and the BJP was also a case of “unnatural marriage”.

He suggested that Malik’s action was unconstitutional and asked Home Minister Rajnath Singh to share the reasons Malik cited for his action.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed the discussion as a “special case” even as the House had already adopted the resolution moved by Singh earlier in the day.

Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congress also termed the governor’s decision as “arbitrary” and “unconstitutional”.

He also accused the central government of “collusion” and claimed that it propped up the rival alliance led by Sajjad Lone, who had the support of “only two MLAs”.

The government has “failed” in the state, he said and added that over 900 persons have died in militancy-related incidents there so far this year.

BJD’s Bhartruhari Majtab supported the resolution, saying the Governor’s rule in the state had become necessary and noted that its two main regional parties, the NC and PDP, boycotted the panchayat polls.

He said assembly elections should be held in the state along with the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

AIADMK’s P Venugopal expressed his party’s opposition to the imposition of Governor’s rule as a matter of principle and asked the Centre to explain the reasons for taking such an “extreme” step.

Supriya Sule of the NCP said it is not the time for bullets in the state and called for holding elections there.

PTI KR

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