Horse-trading was going on: Governor

In defence:Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik addressing the media in Jammu on Thursday.PTI  

Under attack from the Opposition for his decision to dissolve the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday claimed that “extensive horse-trading” was going on in the State and dismissed allegations that he was acting on the Centre’s directions.

Maintaining that it would have been impossible for parties with “opposing political ideologies” to form a stable government, Mr. Malik defended his decision and said he acted in the State’s interest and according to its Constitution. Speaking to reporters at the Raj Bhavan here, the Governor dismissed allegations that he was acting on the Centre’s directions and said had this been the case, their side [the BJP, the People’s Conference] would have been called for government formation.

On the Opposition’s threat to move court, he said those who wanted could do so as it was their right.

“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 underhanded dealings are going on,” Mr. Malik said.

“[PDP leader] Mehbooba [Mufti] ji told me a week before that her MLAs were being threatened through the NIA. Another side said MLAs were being lured with large-scale money. Horse-trading had started 20 days ago,” he claimed. “Had I given any side opportunity [for government formation], it would have created more mess. The value system of politics would have been destroyed as is been happening in the rest of the States. I could not afford that,” the Governor said.

He said it would have been impossible for parties with “opposing political ideologies” to form a stable government.

‘Recipe for instability’

“We would have altered this situation, had we given an unstable government [to the State]. An opportunist government would have been the outcome of this process. We never wanted instability in a sensitive State,” Mr. Malik said. He said the National Conference, the Peoples Democratic Party and the Congress would have fought with one another and it would have created a mess.

“I have no personal interest and for me the interest of the State is prime. For that, I acted and dissolved the Assembly as per the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. It was the best action as per my wisdom and I have not been partial,” he said.

The Governor said when he came to the State, he had made his stand clear that he would not be involved in any underhand dealing or defection and would not approve government formation on the basis of threat. He said he wanted polls to be held and an elected government formed.

He hit out at the PDP and the NC, claiming that they had told him that they had a majority but he was not given any proof. No list was given and no parade of MLAs took place, Mr. Malik said.