No instructions given, no interference by Centre: HM

Dissolution of J&K Assembly

Jaitley justifies Governor’s decision

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Nov 30: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today that neither any instructions were given nor there was any interference by the Centre in Governor Satya Pal Malik’s handling of political situation in Jammu and Kashmir that led to dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly while Finance Minister Arun Jaitley justified the Governor’s decision (to dissolve the House) saying National Conference, PDP and Congress were never serious in the Government formation.
“No instructions were given to Governor Satya Pal Malik on handling the political situation, which led to the dissolution of the State Assembly on November 21,’’ Rajnath, a veteran BJP leader, told a national newspaper in an interview today.
Rajnath said there had been “no interference from Delhi” in Jammu and Kashmir.
“It was left to the Governor to take the decision depending on the situation,’’ he asserted.
“Unke Vivek Par Faisla Chhod Diya Gaya Tha (the decision had been left to his wisdom),’’ the Home Minister said referring to the Governor.
Rajnath’s comments came in the wake of Governor’s remarks that if he would have looked towards New Delhi, they might have asked to hold the oath of Sajjad Lone-led Government in the State.
Lone, the People’s Conference chairman and a BJP ally, had also staked claim to form the Government in the State with the help of BJP and MLAs of other parties after PDP president Mehbooba Mufti first claimed support of 56 MLAs for the Government formation.
Meanwhile, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today described National Conference, PDP and Congress as “sworn rivals’’ and said they were not serious to form the coalition Government in the State.
“The Governor (Satya Pal Malik) rightly choose to dissolve the Legislative Assembly,’’ Jaitley told a news channel.
The Finance Minister said the Governor had to see whether this was a proper offer or proposal and whether there was possibility of formation of a stable Government in the State.
“In the case of Jammu and Kashmir, the National Conference stated that the talks were at preliminary stage…the Congress asserted that it was just ‘arambik baat’ (preliminary talks) while Mehbooba Mufti, the PDP president and former Chief Minister claimed that she has the support of 56 MLAs. However, she (Mehbooba Mufti) didn’t produce a single signature or any list (in support of her claim),’’ Jaitley said.
He added that there were reports of horse-trading and Governor Satya Pal Malik has stated that he had evidence of it (the horse-trading).
Jaitley said if any political party was aggrieved of the Governor’s decision it can go to the court and challenge dissolution of the Legislative Assembly.
“The fact that none of these parties had gone to the court, showed that the Governor’s decision was right,’’ the Finance Minister asserted.
Jaitley recalled that there was a fractured verdict in Jammu and Kashmir after the Assembly elections in 2014, which gave not hung but deadlock House.
“We experimented solution (by forming coalition Government with the PDP). It didn’t work. We were back to the Governor rule,’’ he said.
It may be mentioned here that the Governor’s rule was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir on June 20 after the Bharatiya Janata Party withdrew support to Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP Government in the State. Then Governor NN Vohra had kept the Legislative Assembly in suspended animation.
However, on November 21, Governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the Legislative Assembly following claims and counter claims by Mehbooba Mufti and Sajjad Lone of People’s Conference, a BJP ally, to form the Government.
Only yesterday, dissident BJP leader and former party MLA from RS Pura, Gagan Bhagat had challenged dissolution of the Legislative Assembly in the Supreme Court. Another dissident BJP leader and former MLA from Chenani, Dina Nath Bhagat had supported Gagan’s decision.