President Ram Nath Kovind has approved Governor's rule in Jammu and Kashmir with immediate effect, a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) broke ties with its ally the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Mehbooba Mufti resigned as chief minister of the state.
The Indian Express reports that while Governor NN Vohra had earlier asked Mufti to continue as the chief minister and even spoken to other parties to look for alternative alliance, he submitted a report to the President suggesting Governor's rule.
Former chief minister of the state, Omar Abdullah, called for early elections fearing horse-trading by the BJP.
The J&K state assembly should be dissolved immediately & fresh elections should take place as soon as appropriate. The former DCM has admitted that BJP can't be trusted not to horsetrade for Govt formation. https://t.co/dbX4bK8goc— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) June 20, 2018
A senior PDP leader also feared the same. The PDP leader told The Indian Express, "We will have to start from scratch again. If the Assembly is not dissolved, there are chances that the BJP might want to stitch a new alliance in a few months. Every party has disgruntled elements and we are not different. We may face a split too."
Describing the decision to pull out of the Jammu and Kashmir government, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav told reporters, "Two issues were the basis of the coalition. One was to do all we could to restore peace and secondly to ensure equitable development of all three regions in the state. This has not happened, and in fact, the violence in the Valley has increased and this makes it difficult to continue."
Citing sources, The Times of India reported that another reason for the BJP to take the decision was PDP's alleged empathy towards 'soft separatism'.
Governor's Rule in J&K is different from President's Rule that is usually implemented in other parts of India when the elected government of the state falls.
In Jammu and Kashmir, Governor's Rule can be implemented for a period of six months under Section 92 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. The government can be in suspended animation or dissolved, and Governor's Rule can be extended beyond a period of 6 months.
Under Governor's Rule, J&K will be under direct control of the Centre.