J&K Assembly dissolved: Congress targets PM

Jaipur: The Congress on Thursday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for using Governor Satya Pal Malik to dissolve the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly “illegally and unconstitutionally”.

“We strongly condemn the way the Governor illegally and unconstitutionally dissolved the Assembly.

“The Governor has toyed with the Constitution and it was done at the behest of the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO),” Congress leader Manish Tewari told the media here.

The former Union Minister questioned as to why Malik did not dissolve the House in the last six months after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in June withdrew support to the Mehbooba Mufti-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) coalition government.

“For the last five-six months, the BJP tried its best to garner support by indulging in horse trading. But when its conspiracy failed to yield any result, it got the Governor to dissolve the Assembly just after the PDP, National Conference and the Congress staked claim to form the government,” Tewari said.

Earlier in the day former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram also targeted Malik saying parliamentary democracy was “outdated” for the BJP-appointed Governor.

“As long as no one staked a claim to form government, Jammu and Kashmir Governor was happy to keep the Assembly under suspension. The moment someone staked a claim, he dissolved the Assembly. Parliamentary democracy standing on its head.

“The Westminster model of democracy is outdated. Like in all other matters, it is the Gujarat model that has appealed to the J&K Governor,” Chidambaram tweeted.

The party also ridiculed the Governor’s defence on Wednesday, when he maintained that “the grand alliance” of PDP, National Conference and Congress was an “opportunistic” one.

“It is unfortunate that the Governor is talking more like a BJP spokesperson than a governor. We strongly condemn his action and demand that elections are held at the earliest for the sake of democracy,” said party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

In a dramatic development, Malik late on Wednesday dissolved the Assembly after the three parties staked claim to form the government which was followed by People’s Conference leader Sajad Lone making a rival claim to power with the backing of BJP and rebel PDP MLAs.