Srinagar: Asking Governor Satya Pal Malik to make public his allegations that there was horse-trading and exchange of money in buying loyalties, former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday sought to know on whose behest legislators were being bought.
After dissolving the legislative assembly on Wednesday evening, Governor Malik had said that there were reports of extensive horse-trading and possible exchange of money to secure support of legislators to form a government.
“People of Jammu and Kashmir need to know who was buying legislators?” questioned Omar today. “Who was doing horse trading? Who was using money? Where did it come from? At whose behest MLAs were being purchased?”
Explaining reasons for forming a coalition with its political bête noire PDP, the National Conference vice-president said that the purpose was to defend the special status of the state, which is under legal challenge in Supreme Court, and to keep away the BJP.
The aim was to “restore imbalance” in administration and call for fresh assembly elections after the January hearing on Article 35A in Supreme Court, he said.
“Politically, it was against the interests of NC, but we did not mind it and only thought about the state. We were ready to provide external support to the new government and our agenda was that 35A should be defended in the right way in court,” he said.
Revealing the plan of the alliance, Omar said that the new chief minister would have sent a recommendation for dissolving the assembly and fresh elections would then be conducted along with Parliament elections.
Referring to the coming together of the ideologically divergent “south pole and north pole” (PDP and BJP) in the previous government, Abdullah questioned the Governor’s logic in not accepting the claim for government formation from the PDP, with the support of Congress and NC.
“The Governor had no basis to claim it would be an instable coalition. We were all bound by a whip. Does this not apply to the previous government? As for the Governor’s claim that this collation would not have provided security, it is a fact that past coalition governments have conducted far more successful elections than those that are being held (now),” he said.
He took a jibe at the Raj Bhavan for refusing to accept through fax the PDP’s letter staking claim to form the government. “It was the first time that a fax machine strangulated democracy,” he said.
“It is such a fax machine that it works on Ishara (directions). Yeh kaisa machine hai that the letter of claim for government formation can’t be received but the order of dissolution (of assembly) can be sent,” he said and added, “It is like one-way fax, with no incoming, only outgoing.”
On Wednesday, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti had faxed her letter staking claim to form the government to Raj Bhavan, but it was not received. The fax machine became a butt of jokes on social media.
Asked if NC, Congress and PDP would contest the forthcoming elections together, Omar said it would not “benefit” Jammu and Kashmir.
“We don’t want to create a situation like 1987 where all political parties came together and the only space remaining is for the fringe. We made the sincerest efforts to form the government but it didn’t work,” he said.
Replying to a question, Abdullah said that the decision to put up a legal challenge to the Governor’s dissolution of assembly rests with the PDP. He said that his party would extend “moral support” if such a decision were taken.
The NC leader said that fresh elections for state assembly should be held soon and suggested that they should be conducted if not before then along with the general elections next year.
Governor’s rule in J&K will expire on December 19 and the state will thereafter come under President’s rule.