By Rattan Sharma
Jammu, Jun 21: The state of Jammu and Kashmir, said to be one of the sensitive regions of the country-whenever reeled under Governor’s Rule since 1977-felt more developed and secure rather than living under the shade of political dispensations.
So far since March 1977, the state of Jammu and Kashmir has seen Governor Rule eight times and astonishingly, people of this princely state, feel that they see state developing and progressing more under this prestigious rule than headed by the political parties.
The political instability in Jammu and Kashmir has been forcing the state to come under Governor’s Rule. Not only this, the difference in ideology among the National and Regional mainstream parties have also become one of the major factors for imposition of Governor’s Rule in the state.
A review of the previous collapse of the governments in the state is self-explanatory to the point that the coalition in the state between a National Party and Regional Party have resulted in the fall of the governments. In 2006, the regional party Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) had withdrawn the support to the Congress resulting into the collapse of coalition government. Similarly, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), which a National Party, withdrew its support resulting into fall of PDP-BJP Coalition government on June 19, 2018.
As the fractured mandate in the state force the parties with different ideologies to come together to stitch an alliance to come in power, their differences on one or the other pretext result into failure of implementation of Common Minimum Programme making the coalition partner to withdraw the support.
In last four decades, Jammu and Kashmir has come under Governor’s rule on eight occasions. The latest spell became imminent with the collapse of the PDP -BJP alliance on Tuesday.
As and when a regional party comes in power it completes its tenure successfully but whenever it forms an alliance with some national party, the cracks starts surfacing in the government due to difference in the ideology, said an political observer. The National Conference, being a regional party, had completed its tenure successfully when it formed government with two-third majority with Dr Farooq Abdullah as Chief Minister, he said.
Out of the eight spells of Governor’s Rule, it is for the fourth time that the state was placed under central rule during N N Vohra’s tenure as Governor which must be a record in itself.
Vohra, a former civil servant, became the Governor on June 25, 2008.
The BJP pulled out of its alliance with the PDP, saying it has become impossible to continue in the government in view of the growing radicalism and terrorism in the state.
Mufti Sayeed’s death was the cause for the last promulgation of the Governor’s rule on January 8, 2016 after PDP and BJP deferred the government formation process till the end of the four-day mourning period.
Invoking Section 92 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, Vohra promulgated Governor’s rule after approval by President Pranab Mukherjee. It was the seventh time Governor’s rule was promulgated in the state since Independence, the first being in March 1977.
The central rule came to an end after Mehbooba Mufti was sworn in as the Chief Minister on April 4, 2016.
Governor’s rule was imposed for the first time on March 26, 1977, when Congress withdrew support to the then government headed by National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. L K Jha was Governor of the state that time.
Sheikh had come to the power following an accord with then prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1975.
The Governor’s rule lasted for 105 days and ended as the NC founder returned to power in the assembly polls.
It was imposed for a second time on March 6, 1986 when Congress withdrew support to the minority government headed by Abdullah’s son-in-law Ghulam Mohammad Shah.
Shah became the Chief Minister after he led a rebellion with National Conference against his brother-in-law and then incumbent Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah in 1984.
This 246-day spell ended after Farooq Abdullah entered into an accord of his own with the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
In January 1990, Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah resigned over differences with Governor Jagmohan Malhotra, leading to another spell of Governor’s rule from January 19, 1990 to October 9, 1996. This was the longest spell of six years and 264 days, which ended after NC returned to power in assembly elections held after a gap of nine-and-a-half years.
On October 18, 2002, Governor’s rule was imposed for the fourth time after NC lost elections and no coalition was formed to continue administration. It was the shortest spell (15 days) of Governor’s rule, as the PDP and Congress with support of 12 independents formed a government on November 2.
From July 11, 2008 to January 5, 2009, Governor’s rule was imposed for the fifth time after the PDP withdrew support from PDP-Congress coalition. It was imposed for 178 days.
The PDP withdrew support to the government on June 28, 2008 following widespread protests during the Amarnath land row agitation. Azad was to seek a vote of confidence in the Legislative Assembly on July 7 but chose to resign instead.
The central rule came to an end on January 5, 2009 after NC leader Omar Abdullah was sworn in as the chief minister.
It was for the first time that Governor’s rule was imposed during the tenure of Vohra.
The Governor’s rule was imposed in the state for the sixth time from January 9 to March 1, 2015 after the assembly election results threw up a hung assembly.
The central rule ended after the PDP and the BJP stitched an alliance paving the way for the return of Mufti Sayeed as chief minister on March 1, 2015.
On January 10, 2016, Governor’s rule was imposed for 7th time after Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed passed away at AIIMS hospital on 7 January. It was the third during Vohra’s tenure.
By Rattan Sharma