The Congress on Thursday accused Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik of helping the People’s Conference form an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party, and enabling them to stake claim to form the government.
“The formation [People’s Conference and BJP alliance] which had only 30 MLAs was being facilitated by governor directly or indirectly to increase their number to 50,” state Congress President GA Mir claimed at a press conference in Srinagar. “Coming together of NC [National Conference] and PDP [Peoples Democratic Party] was an uphill task.”
The governor, who dissolved the state Assembly on Wednesday after both Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti and People’s Conference leader Sajad Lone stake claimed to form government, has denied allegations of partisanship. The state has been under governor’s rule since June, when the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ended its alliance with the PDP. Satya Pal Malik took charge two months later.
Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram also took a jibe at Malik on Thursday. “The Westminster model of democracy is outdated,” he tweeted. “Like in all other matters, it is the Gujarat model that has appealed to the Jammu and Kashmir governor.”
The BJP had marketed Modi’s administration in the run up to the 2014 General Elections as the “Gujarat model”, while the Congress had criticised it. “The moment someone staked a claim, he dissolved the Assembly! Parliamentary democracy standing on its head!” Chidambaram tweeted.
Mir said maintaining the state’s special status was the Congress’ top priority.
“The governor has no option other than to invite us [PDP-Congress-National Conference alliance] to form the government and prove our numbers,” he added. Mir said the Peoples Democratic Party, which is the single largest party in the state with 29 seats, was considering legal recourse to challenge Malik’s decision to dissolve the Assembly.
Mir also criticised BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav for claiming that the alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party and National Conference was formed at Pakistan’s behest. “When elected members of a mainstream party are being accused of working at the behest of Pakistan, you have to prove all these allegations wrong,” the Congress leader added. “This has become a habit now. Those who support the BJP are patriotic Indians, but if someone raises questions about the BJP they are labeled as anti-national or pro-Pakistan.”