oppn parties J&K: Was It Proper To Dissolve The Assembly?

News Snippets

  • SC says it will revisit its definition of 'Hindutva' in the light of growing hate speeches
  • Indigo reduces the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra to three months after an inquiry committee finds that it was a Level 1 offense not meriting a 6-month ban
  • Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral says Delhi Police did not act on his phone call asking them to help 16 people trapped in riot-hit areas
  • AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, booked for murder and arson, says he is being framed
  • New HC bench allows the Delhi Police plea that the situation is no conducive to the filing of FIRs and also allows the Centre to become a party to the case
  • Justice S Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court, who was part of the bench that pulled up the Delhi Police for not filing FIRs against BJP leaders for hate speeches, transferred to Punjab HC
  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
oppn parties
J&K: Was It Proper To Dissolve The Assembly?

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2018-11-22 16:43:59

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The J&K governor Satya Pal Malik was sent to the state with the express purpose of exploring possibilities of installing an elected government in the state. But when push came to shove, the governor dissolved the assembly and pushed the state towards fresh elections. The first bid for forming the government was made by a combined opposition that included the PDP, the National Conference and the Congress. But immediately thereafter, there was a revolt in the PDP with 18 legislators breaking rank. Soon, Sajjad Lone made a counter bid with support from the said 18 legislators and the BJP.

Maybe the governor was swayed by the revolt in the PDP ranks in taking the decision to dissolve the assembly. Maybe he thought neither combination would provide a stable government. But whatever be the reason, there should at least have been an attempt to install an elected government. Maybe the combined opposition should have been given the first chance and if they failed, Sajjad Lone should have been asked to try to form the government. It is always better to attempt forming a government from already elected legislators rather than call for an untimely and expensive election, especially in a sensitive state like J&K.

Having said this, it also needs to be recognized that the governor is the best judge of the ground reality. In J&K, several extraneous factors also need to be weighed in. The governor has been consulting a wide range of opinion in the state for the last few months. He has had detailed discussions with the army over the prevailing security situation. Maybe he thought that a weak government that had low chances of surviving the remaining term was a bad bet. Maybe he thought that people should be asked to provide a fresh mandate as to who should rule the state. Constitutionally, the governor was within his rights to dissolve the assembly.

But the situation is that with voters polarized - those in Jammu area favouring the BJP and to some extent, the Congress and those in the valley favouring either the PDP or the NC with some independents – the chances of another hung assembly looms large. In that case, renewed attempts will be made to form a coalition government. Hence, the same could have been tried in the just dissolved assembly first without forcing the state into conducting another election.