Putting ball in the Election Commission of India’s court over timing of Assembly elections, Governor Satya Pal Malik Wednesday said his administration wants the President’s rule to end in the state at the earliest.
Asked by reporters that some political parties have accused officials in his administration of sabotaging the Assembly elections in the state, Malik said, “It is not a fact. The timing of Assembly elections will be decided by the Election Commission of India. In fact, my administration also wants President’s rule to end so that people’s government is installed.”
He was speaking to the media after inaugurating the second phase of the Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover here.
Since December 19, the state has been under President’s rule. At the end of Governor’s rule, Jammu and Kashmir came under direct rule by the President of India, the third time in the state’s political history as part of the Indian Union.
Recently, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also said a decision on holding Assembly elections in the state was the prerogative of the ECI, but indicated a decision could be announced after the completion of the Lok Sabha polls.
The state was brought under Governor’s rule on 20 June, 2018, a day after the elected government led by Mehbooba Mufti collapsed following withdrawal of support by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party to her People’s Democratic Party.
The state Assembly was kept in suspended animation to allow for the possibility of any new combination of parties to form a government in the state.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti supported by the National Conference and the Congress staked claim for government formation on 21 November, 2018.
Within minutes, People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone also staked claim for government formation.
The Governor decided to dissolve the Assembly on the grounds that he wanted to prevent horse-trading.
GOVERNOR APOLOGISES FOR HIGHWAY BAN
The Governor on Wednesday apologised to the public for the inconvenience due to civilian traffic ban on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway. “I apologize to the people for the inconvenience they had to face due to the highway restrictions but the ban was imposed in national interest,” he said.
The government had imposed a ban on the civilian movement on the National Highway for two days a week after 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men were killed in a blast on highway in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. On Tuesday, the government lifted the ban completely.