J&K Governor triggers fresh row, says ‘Delhi would’ve wanted a Sajad Lone government’

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Srinagar: Days after dissolving the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, state Governor Satya Pal Malik on Tuesday triggered a fresh political row, suggesting pressure from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA government in Delhi. The J&K Governor has said that if he had listened to Delhi, he would have invited Sajad Lone to form government in the state.

“Had I looked at Delhi, I would have had to invite Sajad Lone to form government. But I did not want to go down in the history as a dishonest man. I don’t bother about the abuses now,” said Satya Pal Malik.

In a dramatic development last week, the Governor had announced the dissolution of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, soon after Peoples Development Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti declared that she would stake claim to form government with the support of the National Conference and the Congress party.

This sudden decision by the Governor had triggered a political war of words in Jammu and Kashmir as well as in the national capital, with rivals trading charges. While PDP, NC and Congress termed the decision by the Governor as “undemocratic and unconstitutional”, the BJP had backed Malik’s decision, saying it was in the best interest of the state.

Launching a scathing attack on the Governor, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah had called Malik a “slave of the Centre”.

Malik, however, rubbished all criticism, saying he had dissolved the Assembly to prevent horse trading. He had also claimed that the PDP did not have the numbers to form government, citing that the party had not submitted any letter of support from the NC or the Congress party.

He had said, “If PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti and NC leader Omar Abdullah were serious about forming a government (by joining hands) in Jammu and Kashmir, they should have rung me up, or sent me a letter.”

Mehbooba has ruled out taking the legal route against the Governor’s decision, saying she would go to the “people’s court”.

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