President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday signed a proclamation ordering imposition of central rule in Jammu and Kashmir starting midnight. The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the decision on Monday after Governor Satya Pal Malik sent a report recommending the imposition of president’s rule.

The governor’s rule ended on December 19. It was imposed in June when the coalition state government fell apart after the Bharatiya Janata Party pulled out of an alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party.

Under Article 92 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution, six months of governor’s rule is mandatory during which time all legislative powers rest with the governor.

Malik had dissolved the state Assembly on November 21 after the Peoples Democratic Party, with support from the Congress and National Conference, had staked claim to form the government. The Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference also simultaneously staked claim to form a government, with 25 members of the Bharatiya Janata Party and 18 other members.

Under the president’s rule, all powers of the state legislature will be exercised under the authority of the Parliament.

Meanwhile, National Conference President Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday called for early Assembly elections and said governor’s rule was not an alternative to an elected government, PTI reported. Abdullah said that governor’s rule was an “autocratic rule” and said his party would urge that elections be held in the state as soon as possible.

“We believe that an elected government would be able to deliver in a better way,” Abdullah said. “The National Conference has been impressing on the incumbent administration to hold elections as soon as possible.”