Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik Wednesday said his administration wants the President’s Rule to end in the state at the earliest but the final call on the timing of assembly elections will be taken by the Election Commission.
Asked if some officials within his administration were not keen on transfer of power to an elected government in the state, the governor said there was nothing like that in his notice.
“We want this (President’s Rule) to end as soon as possible. The final call on holding assembly elections in the state will be taken by the Election Commission,” Malik told reporters after inaugurating the second phase of the Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover.
Recently, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also said a decision on holding assembly elections in the state was the prerogative of the Election Commission but indicated a decision could be announced after the completion of the Lok Sabha polls.
Jammu and Kashmir was placed under Governor’s Rule on June 19, 2018 after the PDP-BJP coalition government fell as the BJP decided to pull out of the alliance.
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, who had just two MLAs, also staked claim for government formation.
The governor decided to dissolve the assembly on the grounds that he wanted to prevent horse-trading.
The state was brought under President’s Rule on December 19, 2018 for a period of six months as elections could not be held within six months of imposition of Governor’s Rule in the state. The President’s Rule will have to be extended again on June 19, 2019 as assembly elections have not been held so far. The order for extending President’s rule will have to be ratified by Parliament.