Srinagar, November 21: In a dramatic turn of events, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday dissolved the state assembly, ceasing the PDP's bid to form a government with backing from the National Conference (NC) and the Congress. However, political analysts see the fast-paced development in the Jammu and Kashmir politics as a victory for the two regional parties over the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that was trying to wrest power with help from rebels in PDP.
Moments after the People's Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti staked claim to form the government claiming having support of 56 MLAs including ones from the National Conference and the Congress, People's Conference's Sajjad Lone also wrote to the Governor staking claim to form the government with BJP's backing. He claimed the support of 18 MLAs including PDP rebels, besides 25 BJP legislators.
Instead of asking Mehbooba or Lone to prove majority on the floor, Governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the state assembly. The Mahagathbandhan of the PDP, NC and Congress virtually forced the Governor to do what they had been demanding for the past five months. Now that the assembly has been dissolved, elections must be held within six months. The dissolution of the assembly is seen as a victory for the PDP and NC as both were pressing for fresh polls in the state.
For the BJP, the dissolution of the assembly means it can no longer form the government with disgruntled PDP and NC legislators. The BJP was trying hard to gather support for a third front, headed by Sajjad Lone and backed by PDP rebels. After the BJP withdrew its support from the PDP-led coalition government in June, at least three MLAs of the Mufti-led party rebelled against the party leadership. Some others were also holding talks with either BJP or Lone. The National Conference too lost its spokesperson Junaid Mattu to Lone's PC.
While the BJP was busy in mobilising support, the PDP, NC and Congress managed to reach a consensus and Mufti staked claim to form the government. This apparently compelled the BJP-appointed Governor to dissolve the assembly. "This was part of the plan that worked. We wanted to pressurise the Governor to dissolve the assembly. The BJP and PC were trying to break our party, and now everything is over. MLAs can't do anything," a PDP told TOI. Now, the saffron party will have to contest elections if it wants to wrest power.
The state is currently under governor’s rule which cannot be extended after it completes its six-month period on December 19.