The Centre told the Lok Sabha on Friday that it is ready for Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, which is currently under President’s rule, PTI reported. Home Minister Rajnath Singh told the Lok Sabha that Governor Satya Pal Malik had no option other than to recommend President’s Rule.

The Union home minister, howver, said the Election Commission holds the prerogative to conduct elections in the state. “We are totally committed to democratic process,” the Home Minister said while asserting that the Centre would not take any “wrong or immoral action”.

He was replying to a discussion on the resolution that was allowed by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who called it a “special case”.

The Lok Sabha adopted a resolution on President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir. Singh refuted Opposition party claims that Malik’s decision to dissolve the Assembly was unconstitutional. The Statutory Resolution was approved by voice vote amid shouts of protest from members of the Opposition. It is now subject to the President’s approval.

The home minister refuted claims the Bharatiya Janata Party was trying to back a regional party to form the government. “If the BJP wanted to indulge in horse-trading to form government, then it would have done so during the six-month Governor’s Rule,” the Home Minister said.

Singh said that none of the major parties had shown any inclination to form the government when NN Vohra, who was governor before Malik, had met them in June.

Meanwhile, Union minister Jitendra Singh on Friday said the political situation in Jammu and Kashmir is a consequence of a series of “blunders” by successive Congress governments in the state, starting with the “Nehruvian blunder”, PTI reported. Jitendra Singh is a legislator from Jammu.

Jitendra Singh told the Lok Sabha that the Bharatiya Janata Party allied with the Peoples Democratic Party before it pulled out of the alliance because it was dictated by the people’s mandate. “It was not an unnatural marriage between parties, in fact it was like a typical Indian marriage where two parties with different ideologies came together for the sake of democracy,” Jitendra Singh said.

State in limbo

President Ram Nath Kovind had signed a proclamation ordering the imposition of central rule in Jammu and Kashmir starting on the intervening night of December 19 and 20. The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the decision 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.