Earlier, Malik said that for the last 15-20 days he had reports about the horse-trading taking place in the state.
Srinagar: Justifying his decision to dissolve the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, governor Satyapal Malik on Thursday claimed that he acted in the interest of the state and its people and in view of possible horse-trading and threats to MLAs.
Maintaining that it would have been impossible for parties with “opposing political ideologies” to form a stable government, Mr Malik said he acted according to the state’s constitution and those who want to move court against his decision could do so as it was their right.
“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 at a press conference in winter capital Jammu.
The governor’s defence of his decision to dissolve the House was questioned by National Conference leader Omar Abdullah who asked Mr Malik to make public reports about the use of money and horse-trading in government formation.
Earlier, Mr Malik said that for the last 15-20 days he had reports about the horse-trading taking place in the state.
“MLAs were being threatened and there were a lot of underhand works going on. (Former chief minister and PDP president) Mehbooba Mufti called on me a week ago and said that her MLAs were being threatened by the NIA… Some other political parties said that the party leaders were being lured with money... so horse-trading had started 20 days ago,” he said.
“Now, whosoever I would have given the chance, there would have been horse-trading at a large scale, which ultimately would have finished the political system of the state the way it’s happening in other states. I wouldn’t have afforded that at any cost,” said Mr Malik.
He hit out at the PDP and the NC, claiming they had told him that they had a majority but never gave any proof for it. “No list was given and no parade of MLAs took place,” Mr Malik said.
The governor said that the PDP, the NC and the Congress staked claim for to form government when just one month was left for the governor’s rule to end.
“Why did they not act earlier and why did no one come from their side or the other side. I did not accept the claims of both sides,” he said.
Asked about the non-functioning of the fax machine at Raj Bhavan in Jammu resulting in his office not receiving government formation letters from PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone, Mr Malik said, “Wednesday was Eid. Two persons who run my office being devout Muslims were on leave. Even my cook was not working. They (political parties) should know it was a gazetted holiday.”
“They should have sent a man with the letter. These are lame excuses,” he said.
He said that the parties could have sent the letters to him a day earlier but hastened to add that even if the letters had reached him in time, he would have taken the same decision.
Reacting to the governor’s defence of his decision to dissolve the House, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah asked the governor to make public reports about the use of money and horse-trading in government formation in the state.
“People have a right to know who was buying MLAs and who was funding it,” he said at a press conference.
“If the governor has such reports, he should make them public... These are not our accusations. It was the governor who said horsetrading was happening and money was changing hands. We want to know where this money came from? We want to know at whose behest this money was being given and who was being bought,” Mr Abdullah said.
He slammed the governor’s rejection of a PDP proposal to form PDP-NC-Congress government on grounds of “different political ideologies”.
“The governor gave reasons for not accepting the claim by the PDP. He said parties of different political ideologies were coming together. Did you ask this question in 2015 when BJP and PDP tied up?” asked the former chief minister.
The governor abruptly dissolved the state Assembly on Wednesday night, hours after the PDP staked claim to form a government with the backing of rival NC and the Congress.
This was followed by another bid from the two-member People’s Conference which claimed the support of the BJP and 18 legislators from other parties. In the 87-member House, the PDP had 29 legislators, the BJP 25, the NC 15, the Congress 12 and there were six others.