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Omar quits as caretaker CM; J-K stares at guv rule

The Centre could declare governor’s rule in J-K anytime soon because caretaker CM Omar Abdullah wants to be relieved of his duties, and the fortnight-long standoff over government formation hasn’t shown any signs of easing.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2015 00:35 IST
Toufiq Rashid
Toufiq Rashid
Hindustan Times
Jammu,Kashmir,President's rule

The Centre could declare governor’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir anytime soon because caretaker chief minister Omar Abdullah wants to be relieved of his duties, and the fortnight-long standoff over government formation hasn’t shown any signs of easing.

“Talks between the BJP and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed have not yielded any result. Omar is unwilling to carry on. The Union home ministry is making preparations for governor’s rule in the state. Governor NN Vohra is understood to have sent his report to the Centre on the political deadlock in the state,” a home ministry official said on Thursday.

Omar tweeted that the state needs a permanent administrator to care for 10,000 people displaced in the border areas by Pakistani shelling and scores of families awaiting rehabilitation after last year’s devastating floods.

“Just to confirm I did meet Gov Vohra sahib last night & ask him to relieve me as caretaker CM. I had agreed to stay temporarily,” Omar tweeted about his meeting with the governor in Delhi after returning from London where he spent time with his parents. Father Farooq underwent a kidney transplant there.

“I believe the interests of the state will only be served by a full time administrator & not a caretaker with no mandate to govern,” he tweeted.

He said the state didn’t have a government since October after the model code of conduct set in for the assembly poll. Omar was continuing as caretaker chief minister after his resignation on December 24.

The state plunged into a crisis after the poll threw up a hung verdict — neither the PDP, which emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats, nor the BJP with 25 could get the magic figure of 44 to stake claim to form a government in the 87-member House.

Talks of a tie-up between the two parties hang in the balance because of their deep ideological differences.

A PDP leader said the party would seek a fresh mandate if required while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is wary of a backlash in next month’s Delhi poll if it accepts a compromise formula to form government in Jammu and Kashmir.

Omar’s National Conference has 15 MLAs while Congress managed just a dozen.

A government has to be formed before January 19 when the term of the current assembly expires failing which governor’s rule is inevitable to avert a constitutional breakdown.

The state withstood a similar situation 12 years ago when Farooq Abdullah asked the governor to relieve him of the charge as caretaker CM because the PDP and the Congress were taking too much time to stitch an alliance and form a government.

Omar’s party held the PDP responsible for the crisis this time around too, saying it was ignoring the people’s mandate.

First Published: Jan 08, 2015 22:21 IST