Governor Satya Pal Malik said on Thursday that he took the decision to dissolve the Legislative Assembly “keeping in view the interest of the people and the State”.Addressing a press conference here, Malik said: “The decision of dissolving the Assembly was taken within the ambit of the state constitution and in the interest of the people and the state”.
Malik Wednesday evening dissolved the Assembly after the Peoples Democratic Party and Peoples Conference separately staked claim for government formation in the State.
Taking a dig at regional mainstream parties for boycotting the recently-held municipal elections as well as the ongoing panchayat elections and seeking to defend the Assembly dissolution move in this backdrop, the Governor said: “There were possibilities of derailment of the ongoing panchayat elections because if political parties, which didn’t want these elections to happen, had formed the government, we would have lost stability which was brought about by the sacrifices of security forces”.
The Governor said the urban local body elections passed off peacefully and “not even a single bird was harmed or killed during the exercise by the grace of Almighty.”
“Two out of nine phases of the ongoing panchayat elections passed off without any incident of violence or a law and order problem,” he said, and adding: “The situation could have worsened if an ‘unholy alliance’ was allowed to form the government and it would have been an opportunistic government, causing damage to everything due to their internal fights”.
“Since day one of my appointment as J&K Governor, I have been saying that I am not in favour of any underhand government being formed in the state with defections or horse-trading,” he said, adding that he would instead “want that elections are held and an elected government rules the state.”
“For the past 20 days, I have received several reports that poaching of MLAs and horse-trading had started. Even Mehbooba Mufti herself complained that her MLAs are being threatened in name of National Investigation Agency, and another party said there is a planning of distribution of money (among legislators). So I could not have allowed this to happen,” the Governor said.
“If I had given a chance to anyone (to prove majority), there would have been horse-trading on a large scale and the entire political system would have been damaged, which the State cannot afford,” Malik said.
Rejecting the claims of National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party that he did not respond to their e-mails, tweets or any other mode they adopted to approach him to stake claim for government formation Wednesday, Malik said: “Nobody approached me; no list was forwarded. I did not entertain anybody personally.”
“They (NC, PDP and Congress) had five months earlier and now when we have only half a month left for Governor’s Rule to end, why they suddenly woke up from slumber?” he asked, and added. “The decision (to dissolve the Assembly) taken was in the interest of the people and the state and within the ambit of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution”.
Without naming NC, PDP and Congress, the Governor said “there are forces which don’t want grassroots democracy in the state”.
“I don’t have to see at Delhi, nor go to the Parliament or take permission from the president. I only have to inform him about the decision taken and I deliberately chose ‘mubarak din’ (auspicious day) of Eid-e-Milad to dissolve the Assembly,” the Governor said.
About allegations from political parties that dissolving the Assembly amounted to “murder of democracy”, the Governor said: “I did what they have already been demanding. They should rather be happy.”
On Mehbooba’s allegations that nobody received her letter by fax in Raj Bhavan Wednesday, the Governor said: “My office was shut because of Eid (Eid-e-Milad), so I got no communication from Mehbooba Mufti. She could have approached me a day before. On a holiday none was sitting next to the fax machine. These are all excuses.”
On posting of letters by PDP and PC on social media, the Governor said: “Are government’s formed on social media? Moreover, I don’t use twitter, or follow it”.
Asked whether the decision to dissolve the Assembly was taken after he consulted the BJP high-command, the Governor said: “They (PDP, NC and Congress) know well what the BJP headquarters wanted. The BJP had a candidate here. If I would have heard the BJP, then I would have called their side. But I did what I thought was best according to the constitution. I did not listen to anybody and did what was in the interest of the people and as per the state constitution.”
About reports that any of the regional parties can go to court to challenge the dissolution decision, Malik said: “They can move court. They have all rights. I have done what they wanted.”
About fresh Assembly elections in J&K, the Governor said: “We will work only on the development of the state and what is needed to be done further has to be decided by the Election Commission of India.”
Asked about the charge that the PDP and the National Conference got instructions from Pakistan to form a government, Malik said: “I don’t say such things. I am in a responsible post. I won’t say anything without evidence”.
“This grand alliance was opportunistic. There was no agreement. Even one party was saying that there was no formal interaction among them to form the government,” he said.
STONE-PELTING HAS COMPLETELY ENDED
Malik Thursday claimed stone-pelting has completely ended in the state, though “one or two” Kashmiri youths have joined militancy over the past 50 days.
“Security forces are working hard to bring stability in the state. Stone pelting has completely ended (in the Kashmir Valley),” Malik told reporters here at the Raj Bhawan, according to news agency PTI.
On the issue of youths joining militant ranks, the governor said that only “one or two” youths have joined militancy in the last 50 days, the agency reported.
He said that over 60 militants were killed by forces during the period.