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J&K Assembly dissolved: Congress dubs Governor's decision ‘undemocratic and unconstitutional'

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Srinagar, Nov 21: The Congress on Wednesday termed Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik's decision to dissolve the state assembly as 'undemocratic' and said that former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti should approach the court over it.

Governor Malik's decision to dissolve the assembly came shortly after Mehbooba staked a claim to form the government in Jammu and Kashmir with the support of Congress and the National Conference (NC). The PDP chief, in a letter to the Governor, said she had the support of 56 of Jammu and Kashmir's 87 legislators, including the National Conference's 15 MLAs and the Congress's 12. The PDP is the state's largest party with 29 MLAs. A party or alliance needs 44 for a majority in J&K.

Congress leader Saifuddin Soz

Congress leader Saifuddin Soz

"Mehbooba Ji should move court as what Governor has done on Centre's instructions is undemocratic and unconstitutional. Mehbooba Mufti wrote to Governor only after Congress and NC supported PDP and the Governor should have given her a chance," Congress leader Saifuddin Soz told news agency ANI. (Image courtesy - ANI/Twitter)

Ghulam Aabi Azad

Ghulam Aabi Azad

"I said this afternoon also that it's a suggestion & no final decision has been taken yet (on PDP-NC-Congress alliance). BJP dissolved the assembly even though only a proposal was made," Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said. (Image credit - ANI/Twitter)

NC leader and former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah

NC leader and former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik's decision to dissolve the state assembly within minutes of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti staking claim for government formation "cannot be a coincidence".

[Governor dissolves J&K assembly after Mehbooba stakes claim to form govt]

"JKNC has been pressing for assembly dissolution for 5 months now. It can't be a coincidence that within minutes of Mehbooba Mufti Sahiba letter staking claim the order to dissolve the assembly suddenly appears," Omar said in a series of tweets.

Earlier, Mehbooba in a tweet said she was not able to fax her letter to the Raj Bhawan for staking claim for government formation. "J&K Raj Bhavan needs a new fax machine urgently," Omar quipped after PDP president went public with her letter on Twitter.

Sajjad Lone

Sajjad Lone

Earlier Wednesday, Sajad Lone, leader of the People's Conference, also staked claim to form a government in the state with the support of the 25-legislator strong BJP and "more than 18" other lawmakers. In a letter to Governor Satya Pal Malik, Lone, whose party has two MLAs, including himself, said he has the support of more than required number of legislators in the assembly to form a government. After the PDP's claim to form the government, former deputy chief minister and senior J&K BJP leader Kavinder Gupta said the efforts are being made on "instructions of Pakistan" and urged the people to thwart the attempt.

The fast-paced developments began Tuesday with disgruntled PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Beigh hitting out at a possible alliance between his party and National Conference saying "it will be a government of one religion" and people and Jammu and Ladakh regions would not like it.

J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik

J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik

Despite opposition from some quarters, the attempts at government formation by PDP, NC and Congress intensified on Wednesday and culminated in dissolution of the assembly by the Governor. Governor's rule was clamped in the state on June 19 for a 6-month period following the collapse of the PDP-BJP coalition government after the saffron party withdrew support. The state assembly was also kept in suspended animation so that political parties could explore the possibility of forming a new government.

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