Centre may have asked for oath of Sajjad Lone-led Govt: Governor

‘Kashmir politicians have huge money, bungalows’
No question on patriotism of Abdullahs, Muftis

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Nov 27: Governor Satya Pal Malik has said had he approached the Central Government on dissolution of the State Assembly, they might have asked to hold oath of People’s Conference chairman Sajjad Lone-led Government in the State, even as he asserted that some of the Kashmiri politicians have such a huge money and bungalows one can’t even imagine with 30-50 rooms and carpets worth crores while an ordinary Kashmiri was still poor.
He maintained that under Jammu and Kashmir Constitution he was not bound to consult any Authority in the Centre before dissolution of the Assembly. However, he said, none can doubt the patriotism of National Conference leaders Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah as well as PDP leaders late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and his daughter Mehbooba Mufti.
Malik was addressing gathering at Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh on the occasion of convocation of a private University.
“Had I looked at Delhi, there was a possibility that they asked for oath of Sajjad Lone. I dissolved the Assembly as I was convinced that none of the two claimants for power including Mehbooba Mufti and Sajjad Lone had the majority,” Malik said.
He asserted that the people in the State were happy with dissolution of the Assembly.
“I have received number of calls from youngsters and messages from other people. They said you have saved us from politicians at least for next six months,” he added.
Malik had abruptly dissolved the Legislative Assembly last week, which was in suspended animation since June 20 following imposition of Governor’s rule in the State, after the PDP staked claim to form a Government with the backing of rival NC and the Congress. This was followed by another bid from the two-member People’s Conference led by Sajjad Lone which claimed the support of the BJP and 18 legislators from other parties.
The Governor also took a dig at the Congress, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), National Conference and Sajjad Lone saying if they were so keen on forming the Government, they could have come to Jammu a day earlier and met him.
“There are number of flights between Srinagar and Jammu. All these political parties also have their leaders in Jammu. Neither anyone came to meet me nor there was any report that anyone coming to meet me was stopped,” the Governor said and asserted that none of the two parties had numbers and inviting any of them to form the Government would have bring money power, into the play.
“Still we have five phases of Panchayat elections left. Democracy is flourishing. People are turning out in huge numbers to cast their votes. Everything would have been sabotaged,” Malik said, adding he didn’t have to look towards the President of India or Parliament for dissolving the Assembly as he had the power to do so under the Jammu and Kashmir’s separate Constitution.
He said the Governments can’t be formed on twitter or WhatsApp. Lone sent a message claiming majority on WhatsApp to Jagjivan Ram, who was PA of former Governor and it had no relevance, he added.
Asserting that Sajjad Lone had claimed that he would prove majority within six days of taking oath, Malik said senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and National Conference veteran Dr Farooq Abdullah had maintained that they were still engaged in discussions (on the day the Assembly was dissolved).
Asserting that if all the money that had come to Kashmir would have been used appropriately, the Kashmir would have become gold, Malik said some of the Kashmiri politicians have earned such a huge money that one even can’t imagine.
“They (the politicians) have bungalows of 30 to 50 rooms and immense costly carpets inside even as the poor Kashmiri don’t have sweater to wear while running mule,” the Governor said.
However, Malik said none can doubt patriotism of Abdullahs and Muftis.
“Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah are sons of Sheikh Abdullah because of whom, Kashmir is with India. We can’t doubt their patriotism. Similarly, late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was true Indian, his daughter (Mehbooba Mufti) is also a patriot,” he said.
The statement assumed significance as BJP pointman on Jammu and Kashmir, Ram Madhav had claimed that decision to form coalition Government by PDP-National Conference-Congress was taken at behest of Pakistan though he had withdrawn his remarks later.
Narrating events leading to dissolution of the Assembly, Malik said: “It was an Eid holiday and this is an auspicious day. Did they expect the Governor to stand by the fax machine and wait for their fax”?
After dissolving the State Assembly, both NC vice president Omar Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti expressed happiness and claimed that this was what they wanted, Malik said and recalled that Mehbooba had told him about 15 days ago that her party MLAs were being lured and threatened of (the inquiry) by the National Investigating Agency.
“I had assured her that I will brief New Delhi about her complaint,” he said, adding a similar complaint was also made by Sajjad Lone.
“I returned at 4 PM from Delhi and I got a briefing from Intelligence officials about the situation. I found it needless to talk to Delhi, because two days ago I had met them all,” he added.
The Governor said that without seeking any advice or direction or holding any discussion with Delhi, he took the decision of dissolving the Assembly.
“I was watching this all for past 15 days. I was confident that no one had majority. If I would have called one side, there would have been a major drama. There would have been use of money and it would have created a chaos,” Malik added.
Governor’s rule was clamped in the State on June 19 for a 6-month period following the collapse of the PDP-BJP coalition Government after the saffron party withdrew support. The State Assembly was also kept in suspended animation so that political parties could explore the possibility of forming a new Government.