Jammu/Srinagar, Nov 22 (IANS) As mainstream parties on Thursday attacked the decision of Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik to dissolve the Assembly, he defended his action saying the alliance between the former rival parties was opportunistic and not in the interest of the state.
However, a major row broke out over BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav’s allegations that the PDP, NC and the Congress came together at the behest of Pakistan, a remark he withdrew following stiff opposition.
Addressing the media in Srinagar, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah of the National Conference said that since it was the PDP and not his party that had sent a letter to the Governor claiming majority in the Assembly, it was for the PDP to challenge Malik’s Wednesday night action.
The National Conference reacted angrily against Ram Madhav’s comment that the National Conference and PDP had boycotted the urban local bodies’ polls at Pakistan’s behest and were now trying to forge an alliance under directions from Islamabad.
“It is unfortunate that a senior BJP leader has said that we got instructions from Pakistan. I challenge Ram Madhav and his associates to prove this with evidence.
“You are disrespecting the sacrifices of my colleagues who refused to dance to Pakistan’s instructions and died,” he said.
In a lighter vein, Abdullah said this was for the first time that a fax machine did not work in a Governor’s office and became responsible for the death of democracy.
“This fax machine is a one-way fax, it has only outgoing and no incoming. This is a unique fax machine and an investigation should be done.”
The comment was in response to PDP chief and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s statement that her party had sent a fax to the Raj Bhawan claiming support of 56 MLAs but it did not reach Raj Bhawan.
Mehbooba Mufti in response to Madhav’s tweet said she was shocked to see “baseless allegations against mainstream parties in the state.
“We had aligned with the BJP to change this pernicious mindset. Undoubtedly Pakistan has an impact on the situation. But it is upto our country to change that from negative to positive and tread the path that was taken by (Atal Bihari) Vajpayeeji.”
She added that “just because our MLAs had enough integrity to stand up to your (BJP) failed attempts of defection, they are now anti national? Both PDP and NC have been allies of BJP at some point. Strange that our credentials weren’t questioned then.
“Sad to see what the political discourse of our country has been reduced to. How does one define a party’s nationalistic credentials? Nationalistic and patriotic only if you are with the Centre and Pakistan-sponsored and anti-nationalistic otherwise?”
Rattled by the attack on him, Madhav tweeted “…I take back my comment, but, now that you proved it was genuine love between NC and PDP that prompted a failed government formation attempt, you should fight next elections together. Mind you it’s political comment, not personal.”
Meanwhile, Governor Malik in the winter capital defended his decision to dissolve the Assembly, saying an impending alliance between the PDP, Congress and the National Conference was “opportunistic”.
The Governor told the media that his Wednesday night decision was taken as per the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.
“In the case of Jammu and Kashmir, I don’t need to take permission from Parliament. I just need to inform the President about the decision,” he said.
On Wednesday night, in a dramatic development, the Governor dissolved the Assembly after the PDP staked claim to form a government along with the Congress and with the outside backing of the National Conference.
In no time, Peoples Conference leader Sajad Lone made a counter claim to power with the backing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and rebel Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) MLAs.
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.”
Malik denied that he acted at the behest of the BJP.
“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.”
Malik alleged that for the last 15-20 days he was getting reports on horse-trading of MLAs.
“I had said this in the beginning that I would not support anybody underhand or by defection or who has been threatened. I wanted an elected government here.
“I had decided to dissolve the Assembly as the legislators of these parties were indulging in horse-trading… MLAs were being threatened… If I would have given an opportunity to anyone, more horse-trading would have been done. And the entire political and judicial system of the state would have been ruined,” he said.