Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti on Friday accused Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik of encroaching upon democratic space in the state, India Today reported. She urged Malik to refrain from taking administrative decisions and instead leave them to the popular government.
The former chief minister said her party would be forced to launch a peaceful agitation if the governor-led administration continued to take decisions everyday. She was commenting on the governor’s proposal to give Ladakh the status of a division, Greater Kashmir reported.
Mufti alleged that the governor’s decisions have been against the interests of the state. “We had hoped that the governor will be cautious in dealing with the sensitivities of the state,” she said at a press conference in Srinagar. “But unfortunately, every day orders which add to insecurities of the people are being issued…all except a few political parties are worried.”
Mufti was referring to Malik’s approval to turn the Jammu & Kashmir Bank into a public sector institution as well as speculation about changing the legislation around the permanent residency certificates in the state.
“The governor is a well respected and a seasoned politician,” Mufti said. “Expect him to leave legislative decisions to the popular government.”
The state administrative council chaired by Malik last month had approved the proposal to convert the J&K Bank into a public sector institution, which takes away the bank’s autonomy and makes it accountable to the state legislature. Malik was also forced to rule out any changes in the law governing permanent resident certificates after both Mufti and National Conference’s Omar Abdullah objected to such an amendment.
Article 35A of the Constitution gives the state legislature the power to define the “permanent residents” of the state and provide them with special rights and privileges.
“From trying to turn the J&K Bank into a PSU [public sector unit] to attempts of changes in state subject laws, the governor seems to be in some kind of hurry in the state,” Mufti said. “As if someone is directing him.”
She also ruled out any change in the state’s constitutional status until a popular government comes to power.
Last month, Malik had dissolved the state Asssembly after the Peoples Democratic Party, National Conference and the Congress came together to stake a claim to form the government. One of the reasons why the Assembly was dissolved was the “impossibility of forming a stable government by the coming together of political parties with opposing political ideologies”, Malik had said.
After the dissolution, Malik had rejected allegations that he was following orders from the Centre.