Guv's afternoon call ends Mehbooba's rule

This was minutes before BJP general secretary Ram Madhav addressed a press conference in the national capital around 2 pm to announce the decision.

GKNN
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jun 20 2018 12:17AM | Updated Date: Jun 20 2018 12:17AM
Guv's afternoon call ends Mehbooba's ruleFile Photo

Mehbooba Mufti’s tenure as Jammu and Kashmir chief minister came to an abrupt end today with a call from Governor N N Vohra, who informed her that the BJP had pulled out of its alliance with the PDP, officials said. 

It was a working day just as any other for Mehbooba, who was in her office in the civil secretariat when Chief Secretary B B Vyas received the phone call that signalled the end of her maiden tenure as chief minister, they said. 

The governor asked Vyas where the chief minister was and asked him to immediately arrange a call with her, they said. 

This was minutes before BJP general secretary Ram Madhav addressed a press conference in the national capital around 2 pm to announce the decision. 

Vyas duly arranged the call. The governor, according to officials in the know of developments, informed Mehbooba about the BJP’s decision, which was conveyed to him in a letter sent by BJP state president Ravinder Raina along with the resignation letters of the BJP ministers.

Mehbooba, 59, listened to the news in silence, and after a pause said there was no need for talks with the BJP and she would be submitting her resignation, the officials said.

Soon after, Madhav made his announcement in Delhi, ending the uneasy, often fractious alliance between the BJP and the PDP and setting the stage for another round of governor’s rule. 

According to government statement Governor had received a letter by fax in the afternoon, jointly signed by Ravinder Raina and Kavinder Gupta, State BJP President and the leader BJP Legislature Party to withdraw BJP’s support to the Coalition Government. Thereafter Mufti tendered her resignation and the Governor has asked her to continue in office till alternative arrangements are made.

Governor spoke to Kavinder Gupta and Mehbooba Mufti to ascertain whether their respective political parties intended to explore alternative alliances to form the Government of the state and was informed in the negative by both the leaders. 

Governor also spoke to State Congress president G.A. Mir who informed that his party did not have the numerical strength to form government on its own or in alliance. Later, Governor had a meeting with Vice President, National Conference Omar Abdullah who stated that there was no alternative to Governor’s rule and elections.

After concluding his consultations with all the major political parties in J&K, Governor Vohra has forwarded his report to the president of India for imposition of Governor’s Rule under Section 92 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile the sources said Mehbooba was chairing the meeting at her office regarding the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing reservation in promotion for employees from SC and ST category in promotions when BJP pulled the strings in New Delhi.

The meeting which lasted for almost two hours was attended by at least two ministers and bureaucrats from different departments. “But no one in the meeting including the Chief Minister had any idea about the BJP’s decision,” said a source.

He said it was only after TV channels started splashing news about the BJP’s decision in the afternoon Mehbooba and her party minister finally realized that the government had fallen apart.

“It was an unexpected move,” a senior PDP minister described the BJP’s pullout from the government.

While some news channels and newspapers were reporting about the possible end to the PDP-BJP alliance, four senior PDP leaders whom Greater Kashmir spoke to from yesterday evening till this morning had termed the reports as “joke”, suggesting how the party and the chief minister was caught off guard. Even two senior bureaucrats had termed the development as “fake report”. 

 

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