A Look at J&K’s Frequent Trysts With Governor’s Rule

The three-year-old Jammu and Kashmir government, beset by bitter political feuds and worsening security challenges, collapsed on Tuesday, 19 June, with the BJP pulling out of its alliance with the PDP and setting the stage for yet another round of governor's rule.

BJP general secretary Ram Madhav made the surprise announcement after the party high command summoned its Jammu and Kashmir ministers for emergency consultations in New Delhi.

A few hours later, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti submitted her resignation to Governor NN Vohra amid a swirl of political activity in Srinagar and New Delhi.

"It has become untenable for the BJP to continue in the alliance government in the state," Madhav told reporters at a hurriedly called press conference in the national capital.

Presenting her point of view, Mehbooba said in Srinagar that the PDP has always maintained that a muscular security policy would not work in the state and reconciliation was key.

Former chief minister Omar Abdullah met the Jammu and Kashmir governor NN Vohra and told him that he supported governor's rule in the state.

What is Governor’s Rule?

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Unlike other states where President's rule, under Article 356 of the Constitution in the event of failure of constitutional machinery, is imposed, governor's rule for a period of six months is imposed in Jammu and Kashmir under the provision of state Constitution's Section 92.

The governor issues a proclamation to this effect only after getting the consent of the President.

During the governor's rule, the Assembly either remains in suspended animation or dissolved.

The President's rule is imposed only in case of the failure of the restoration of the Constitutional machinery before the six-month period expires.

When and Why was the Governor's Rule Imposed in J&K previously?

In 1977, the Congress withdrew its support to the National Conference's Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah-led government, leading to governor's rule for the first time in Jammu and Kashmir. Abdullah, however, came back to power in the July of the same year with a huge majority.

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The Congress was once again the party bringing governor's rule for the second time in the state in 1986 after it parted ways with the minority government headed by Abdullah's son-in-law Ghulam Mohammad Shah. He was leading a government after causing a split in the National Conference. In November 1986, the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi signed an accord with NC's President Farooq Abdullah, thereby bringing an end to governor's rule in the state.

In June 1990, the state of Jammu and Kashmir was on the boil, and militancy was peaking. Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah resigned from his post after Jagmohan returned to Raj Bhavan as the governor. For the next almost 7 years, the longest period in the history of the state, Jammu and Kashmir was under governor's rule. The rule was lifted only after elections were conducted in October 1996.

In October 2002, when the then caretaker chief minister Farooq Abdullah refused to hold on to the post of the head of the state, governor's rule was imposed for the fourth time, albeit just for 15 days. The PDP and the Congress, with the help of 12 independents, formed the government.

In July 2008, the PDP broke away from Ghulam Nabi Azad's Congress-led government, leading to governor's rule for 174 days. In January 2009, NC's Omar Abdullah was sworn in as the state CM, ending the governor's rule in the state.

In 2015, the Jammu and Kashmir electorate threw up a fractured mandate, with no party crossing the halfway mark. Following the deadlock over the formation of the government, the then President Pranab Mukherjee permitted governor's rule which lasted 51 days.

Following the death of the then chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in January 2016, the governor's rule was imposed for the 7th time in the state. The Governor's rule was lifted after Sayeed's daughter Mehbooba Mufti was sworn in the chief minister.

(With inputs from PTI)

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