SRINAGAR/JAMMU: A bitter war of words broke out on Thursday over the abrupt dissolution of Jammu and Kashmir assembly with the governor being slammed by the PDP, NC and Congress for citing their ideological differences in stalling their bid to form a government and a furious Omar
Abdullah daring BJP leader Ram+
Madhav to prove his charge the NC joined hands with arch rival PDP at the behest of Pakistan.
Satya Pal Malik on his part stuck to his claim that "extensive horse-trading" was going on in the state and dismissed allegations he was acting at the behest of the Centre, as he held a rare press conference for a governor over the issue of dissolution to defend his decision. Malik also maintained he was well within his right under the J&K Constitution to dissolve the assembly.
As the political drama continued and triggered speculation whether assembly polls will be held along with the Lok Sabha polls, Madhav, who is BJP's point person for the state, withdrew his words relating to Pakistan after exchanges with Abdullah on Twitter. Abdullah also demanded an apology from Madhav.
At a news conference in Srinagar, Abdullah questioned Malik's rejection of the move for a PDP-NC-Congress government on grounds of "opposing political ideologies" and asked why the same principle was not applied when the PDP joined hands BJP in 2015.
"That time, it was dubbed as the coming together of the north pole and the south pole... Today, you are telling other parties that you cannot come together even though the difference on some important issues between PDP, the NC and the Congress are small compared to the BJP and the PDP," the National Conference(NC) leader said.
Abdullah also said his party and the PDP will fight the next assembly polls separately.
Former Lok Sabha secretary general and constitutional expert P D T Acharya said it is for the first time that an assembly has been dissolved after the governor concluded it was impossible to form a stable government by parties with "opposing political ideologies", dubbing it "not credible".
Abdullah asked the governor to make public reports about the use of money and horse trading in government formation as was mentioned by him in a press communique Wednesday night. Malik cited "opposing political ideologies" and "extensive horse-trading" as among the four main reasons for the dissolution.
People have a right to know who was buying MLAs and who was funding it, he told reporters.
In Jammu, the governor was addressing the press at the Raj Bhavan around the same time when Abdullah was having a media interaction in Srinagar and training his guns at Malik.
"I have taken this decision as per the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. There is a mechanism that I do not have to look towards New Delhi or move to Parliament or seek permission from the president. I just had to inform them," Malik said rejecting suggestions he took the decision at the behest of the Centre.
"For the past 15 to 20 days, I have been getting reports of large-scale horse trading. MLAs are being threatened and several types of underhand dealings are going on," Malik said.
"Had he given any side the opportunity to form government, it would have created a a bigger mess," he claimed.
As Madhav and Abdullah exchanged sharp words on Twitter, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti also questioned the BJP leader's comment alleging regional parties were working at Pakistan's behest.
Mehbooba was responding to Madhav's allegation that the PDP and the NC had boycotted local body polls in the state earlier because of instructions from Pakistan.
"Shocked to see baseless allegations against mainstream parties in J&K following dictates from Pakistan levelled by @rammadhavbjp ji," Mehbooba, a former chief minister, said in a series of tweets.
Mehbooba said all mainstream parties in Jammu and Kashmir have taken “grave risks” to bridge the “trust deficit that exists between people of the state vis a vis the country” and it was strange their credentials were not questioned when the NC or the PDP was in alliance with the BJP.
Madhav had alleged that "fresh instructions" were given to the two regional parties from across the border to come together and form a government.
The NC and PDP, he alleged, had boycotted local body polls in the state earlier because of instructions from Pakistan.
"You have RAW, NIA & IB at your command (CBI too is your parrot) so have the guts to place evidence in the public domain. Either prove this or be man enough to apologise. Don't practice shoot & scoot politics," Abdullah, a former chief minister said.
Madhav responded, "Just take it in your stride Omar Abdullah. Not questioning your patriotism at all. But the sudden love between NC and PDP and the hurry to form government leads to many suspicions and political comments. Not to offend you." In the tweet, he added an emoji with a toothy smile.
Abdullah did not seem amused.
"No, misplaced attempts at humour won't work. You HAVE claimed my party has been acting at the behest of Pakistan. I dare you to prove it! Place the evidence of your allegation of NC boycott of ULB polls at Pak behest in public domain," he tweeted.
Madhav then responded with a tweet.
"Now that you deny any external pressure I take back my comment, but now that you proved it was genuine love between NC and PDP that prompted a failed government formation attempt, you should fight next elections together. Mind you it's political comment and not personal," he said, adding a laughing emoji.