Governor Writes To GoI: Impose Prez Rule In J&K

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JAMMU — Governor Satya Pal Malik has recommended the Centre to impose President’s rule in the State after the expiry of six-months of Governor’s rule on December 19, officials said on Monday.

A communication from the Governor’s office has been sent to the Union Home Ministry which will be taken up by the Union Cabinet before the expiry of the Governor’s rule on December 19, they said.

After the cabinet nod, the same would be signed by President Ram Nath Kovind who will issue a proclamation which declares that the powers of the Legislature of the State shall be exercisable by or under the authority of Parliament

When Jammu & Kashmir comes under President’s rule on December 19, it will be for the first time since October 9, 1996, when the Farooq Abdullah-led National Conference took over at the end of six years of direct central rule. The state has been under central rule eight times, and moved from Governor’s rule to President’s rule (after six months) on two of those occasions. This will be the third time.

Until March 30, 1965, the state did not have a Governor or Chief Minister; it had a Sadre Riyasat (President of the State) and a Prime Minister. In 1953, months before J&K’s Constituent Assembly ratified the state’s accession to the Indian Union, then J&K Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was removed and arrested. In another blow to the state’s autonomy, New Delhi renamed the positions of Sadre Riyasat to Governor and Prime Minister to Chief Minister while Abdullah was in jail and his party was literally running a campaign for self-determination for J&K under the Plebiscite Front banner.

Unlike the Governor, who is the Centre’s nominee, Sadre Riyasat was a constitutional position elected by the J&K legislature and drew his powers from J&K’s own Constitution, signed into law in 1957 by then Sadre Riyasat Dr Karan Singh. Even after the post was abolished, the centrally nominated Governor continued to enjoy powers that his/her counterparts elsewhere did not. Governor’s rule is one of them. In other states, the Centre invokes Article 356 to impose President’s rule; in J&K, under Section 92 of the J&K Constitution, the Governor can rule for six months with a set of powers, the only requirement being the President’s consent.

Governor’s rule was imposed for the first time on March 26, 1977, when the Congress withdrew support to Abdullah, the then Chief Minister. The Congress wanted to move a no-confidence motion but Abdullah recommended dissolution of the Assembly and fresh elections; then Governor L K Jha put the state under Governor’s rule. This lasted for 105 days until Abdullah was reelected.

 

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