SRINAGAR, June 20: Jammu and Kashmir was placed under the Governor’s Rule on Wednesday following President Ram Nath Kovind’s approval.
Governor NN Vohra sought Kovind’s approval on Tuesday after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) decision to pull out of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)-led State Government which was immediately followed by the resignation of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
Vohra’s recommendations for imposition of the Governor’s Rule was made under the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution which allows the State to be placed under the rule for six months.
If an elected Government fails to take office within the six-month period, 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.
Vohra has placed the State Assembly under suspended animation.
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had demanded the dissolution of the Assembly so that the process of holding early elections in the state could be started.
After all major political parties including the PDP, National Conference and the BJP said they would not explore the possibility of forming an elected Government in the State, Abdullah said horse trading could not be ruled out unless the Assembly was dissolved.
In the 87-member Assembly, the PDP has 28 seats, the Bharaiya Janata Party 25, National Conference 15, Congress 12, CPI-M 1, Peoples Conference 2 and Peoples Democratic Front 1. There are also three independent MLAs.
It is for the fourth time that Vohra will be running the affairs of the State administration directly.
The Governor’s Rule was first imposed in the State by then Governor LK Jha on March 26, 1977, when the Congress withdrew support to the minority Government headed by Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah.
In March 1986, it was imposed for the second time following the withdrawal of support by Congress to the GM Shah-led Government.
In January 1990, the Governor’s Rule was imposed for the third time when the then Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah resigned following the appointment of Jagmohan as the Governor of the State.
It was imposed for the fourth time in October 2002 when Farooq Abdullah refused to continue as the caretaker Chief Minister following his party’s defeat in the Assembly elections.
This was the first time Vohra took over as the Governor.
In June 2008, Governor’s Rule was imposed following the withdrawal of PDP’s support to the Ghulam Nabi Azad-led Government.
In January 2015, following his party’s failure to get a majority in Assembly elections, Omar Abdullah refused to continue as caretaker Chief Minister pushing the State into the Governor’s Rule for the sixth time.
Following the death of the former Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed on January 7, 2016, Vohra assumed reins of administration imposing Governor’s Rule for the seventh time.
Vohra’s term of office was slated to end on June 25. Kovind however, extended Vohra’s term of office for three months.
Informed sources told IANS that 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 appointment of a new Governor would become unavoidable by September 25. (IANS)