NEW DELHI: After the death of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the then CM of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), there has been no progress in the formation of the new Government. In the meanwhile, Governors Rule has been imposed in J&K. Governors rule can be imposed in J&K when there is breakdown of constitutional machinery or no party is able to form the government. The President of India has to concur with Governors opinion.
Documents provided by the Home Ministry in response to a RTI application reveal the entire chain of events leading to the imposition of Governors Rule.
What happened after Muftis death?
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has disclosed the communication between the Governor N N Vohra & MHA in response to a RTI application filed by Mr. Venkatesh Nayak of Delhi. From these documents, it is clear that the Governor communicated to both PDP & BJP about the need to form a government immediately.
Governor reminded both BJP & PDP multiple times
In his report to the President of India, the Governor mentioned that he spoke to both Mr. Nirmal Singh of BJP and Mr. Naeem Akthar of PDP during the last rites of Mr. Mufti Sayeed and appraised them about the constitutional requirements and the time frame for forming a new government.
During my visit to Srinagar on 7th Jauary 2016, in connection with the last rites of Shri Sayeed, I had informed Shri Nirmal Singh (BJP), who served as Deputy Chief Minister in the Mufti led Government, and Shri Naeem Akhtar (PDP), who was Education Minister, about the constitutional requirements and the time frame for the installation of the new chief Minister.
He went onto say that Mr. Muzaffar Baig & Mr. Nizam-ud-Din Bhat from PDP met him at Srinagar Airport in the evening of 07th January. According to the report, Mr. Baig informed the Governor that he has a letter from his party PDP, intimating about the partys decision electing Ms. Mehbooba Mufti to be the next CM. But Mr. Baig did not submit the letter as he wanted to recheck and ensure that all PDP MLAs were in agreement with this decision.
Before I left for Srinagar on 7th evening, to return to Jammu, a PDP delegation comprising Sh Muzaffar Baig (Member of Parliament) and Sh Nizam-ud-Din Bhat (General Secretary PDP and former MLA) met me, with prior appointment, at the Srinagar airport. Sh Baig informed me that he had brought a letter from his Party, addressed to me, which intimated the PDPs decision that Ms Mehbooba Mufti, Member of Parliament, would be the next Chief Minister. Sh Baig explained that he was not handing over the letter to me as he needed to recheck and be fully assured that all the PDP MLAs were on board in regard to the aforesaid decision.
New CM to be installed by the evening of 8th January
The Governor made it clear to Mr. Baig that the new CM had to be installed by the evening of 8th January and asked PDP to submit the following documents.
Resolution of the PDP legislature party electing Ms. Mehbooba Mufti as their leader
Communication from BJP endorsing PDPs decision
The Governor in his report mentioned that he waited till 1pm on 8th January and yet did not receive any communication from either the BJP or the PDP. He mentioned that fax communication was sent to both PDP & BJP at 1.30pm on 08th January.
Shri Sat Sharma
President, Bharatiya Janata Party,
(Via fax: 0194: 2501022)
I have received no communication from BJP, till 1300 hrs today, and would appreciate being advised about your partys position in regard to the formation of the new government. In view of the Constitutional prescriptions I would appreciate an urgent reply (by fax), today, to enable me to determine the next steps.
The Governor also mentioned the discussion that Mr. Ram Madhav of BJP was having with the PDP. The report then goes onto say that no formal response has been received from either of the parties and that the governor has no option but to issue a proclamation for Governors rule.
In the aforesaid background, it has become necessary to take recourse to Section 92(1) of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir under which the Governor may by proclamation assume to himself all or any functions of the Government of the State, subject to the provision of Section 92(5) that no Proclamation under Section 92(1) shall be issued except with the concurrence of the President of India.
Concurrence by the President of India
Based on the Governors report, the MHA recommended Governors rule and sent the file to the President of India. The file noting has the signatures of the President, Prime Minister and also the Home Minister.
After having considered the communication dated 9 January 2016, submitted by the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir and the draft Proclamation proposed to be issued by the Governor under section 92 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, I, Pranabh Mukherjee, President of India, in pursuance of sub-section (5) of the said section 92, hereby concur in the issue of Proclamation. Signed Pranabh Mukherjee, 09 January, 2016
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