Governor's Rule in Jammu and Kashmir
File picture: Mehbooba Mufti with JK Governor N.N.Vohra
SRINAGAR : The state of Jammu and Kashmir slipped into political uncertainty Saturday with the Governor NN Vohra promulgating his rule to fill the transition gap of People's Democratic Party president, Mehbooba Mufti, as the state's Chief Minister.
President Pranab Mukherjee cleared the recommendation of the Union Home Ministry for imposing Governor's rule in J&K on the basis of Vohra's recommendation. After receiving concurrence from the President of India, Vohra issued a proclamation to bring the state under his command.
"The process to form government had commenced and intimations were still awaited about the respective positions of PDP and BJP. Considering the likelihood of some more time being taken before government can be formed, with the approval of the President of India, Governor’s Rule has been imposed in the State with effect from 8th January, 2016," an official spokesperson said.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and union road and transports minister Nitin Gadkari are expected to meet Mehbooba at her Fairview residence later in the day today to offer condolence on the 'chahrum' of her father and former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who passed away at AIIMS on Thursday.
While Mehbooba Mufti has refused to take oath before the four-day mourning period for her father is over, speculations are rife, fuelled by the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad's continuous appearance at the Fairview over the last three days, that the Congress has offered "unconditional support" to the PDP for forming the government.
Azad, who had a long association with Mufti, has dismissed the speculations as "rumours" while the PDP's Lok Sabha member from Baramulla, Muzaffar Hussain Beg, said that the PDP will like the alliance to continue in the state.
"I think she will do even better than her father," Beg, a close aide of Mehbooba and one of the founders of the PDP, told a national newspaper. "Mufti's death is a challenge for us, but also an opportunity for PDP to get a fresh start. You know, I am an insider critic, not a dissenter because I want the government to succeed and I want the alliance to succeed."
The BJP, which had a power-sharing arrangement with the PDP, is watching the proceedings from the ringside with senior party leaders including Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP's National General Secretary, Ram Madhav and former deputy chief minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, meeting Mehbooba Mufti privately over the last three days.