NEW DELHI (TIP): Jammu & Kashmir governor N N Vohra has sent a report to the Centre conveying a “political deadlock” in the state in the wake of failure of any party or political formation to cobble the numbers to form the next government as well as Omar Abdullah’s request to be relieved as the caretaker chief minister.
“The ground situation in J&K is that of a political impasse,” a home ministry functionary said adding that the options indicated by Vohra to resolve it include a spell of Governor’s rule until a party or coalition of parties comes forward to stake claim to form the government.
J&K elections that concluded on December 20 threw up a badly-hung House. PDP emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats, BJP bagged 25 seats, National Conference 15 and Congress 12 seats. Despite extensive talks on government formation between BJP and the regional parties, particularly PDP, a power-sharing formula is yet to be agreed upon.
The impasse worsened on Wednesday night with Omar Abdullah requesting the J&K governor to be relieved as the caretaker chief minister. “Just to confirm I did meet Gov Vohra sahib last night and asked him to relieve me as caretaker CM. I had agreed to stay temporarily…Given the situation on the border and 10,000 displaced, the hardships of winter and the continuing need for relief for flood affected, I believe the interests of the state will only be served by a full-time administrator and not a caretaker with no mandate to govern,” Omar tweeted on Thursday.
Incidentally, Constitutional experts insist that Governor’s rule is not the only option if Omar steps down as caretaker chief minister. “The governor can always appoint another caretaker chief minister, who may not necessarily be a member of the state assembly…This new caretaker may continue till a government is formed, or until the term of the incumbent state assembly expires on January 19, whichever is earlier,” legal expert Subhash C Kashyap said. A senior home ministry official, however, said it was “highly unlikely” that Vohra would go for a new caretaker CM.