Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah has favoured dissolution of the state assembly so that horse trading is put to rest and all the political parties prepare the ground for fresh elections.
The National Conference leader, however, hoped that Governor’s rule would stay for some time “so that some stability returns” to the state.
“I think one of the good things is Governor’s rule right now in the state. The focus now is on development and he (N N Vohra) has been able to give a solid administration which is unbiased...at the same time he wants peace to return to the state and is taking measures to see that people are not harassed unnecessarily,” Abdullah, a Lok Sabha member, said during an interview here to PTI.
In reply to a question about the governor administration preparing the ground for holding panchayat and municipal elections, Abdullah said it was a good development.
“Let them prepare the ground for this, then political parties will decide for themselves whether they are ready or not. First the ground needs to be prepared,” he said.
About the reports of formation of an alternative government in the state, Abdullah said, “I think immediately after the BJP withdrew the support, the normal process must be that the state assembly is dissolved to hit the chances of horse trading or otherwise that will affect the democratic institutions in the state,” averred Abdullah.
“Therefore, the quicker the assembly is dissolved, the quicker the people can prepare themselves for the future elections,” he said.
The BJP pulled out of the alliance government with the PDP on June 19, forcing Mehbooba Mufti to resign as chief minister of the state.
Abdullah, who has been chief minister of the state on three earlier occasions including the worst period of militancy between 1996 and 2002, did not agree with Mehbooba Mufti’s statement that if Delhi attempted to break her party, militancy would increase.
“As far as her statement that more militants will be created is concerned, it is not absolutely correct. But at the same time, I must say that if horse trading is done, the electorate will lose hope of ever having their own representatives running the state and I quite agree that this practice is bad for democracy. The only answer is fresh elections,” he said.
Asked whether the BJP’s decision to pull out was right, Abdullah said, “I think after seeing the situation going from bad to worse and polarisation growing at a faster rate between the two divisions of the state, the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) had no other way out but to request his party to withdraw the support.”
Asked to comment on the Mehbooba Mufti-led government and its failure to prevent youths from joining militant ranks, he said the PDP came to power because they promised people that they will keep the RSS and the BJP out. Post elections, they made a complete U-turn and shook hands with the BJP.
“That was one of the blows. That is why you find that most of the tragedies occurred in South Kashmir where they received maximum number of votes. Second reason was total mis governance, corruption to heights, anti-people policies. They lost the grip on the situation,” he added.
“Jobs, transfers and ad-hoc appointments were done through the backdoor which only aggravated the situation,” he said.
He said Khan was a sportsperson and had always been positive wherever India was concerned which included his interaction in Delhi where he was always looking forward to a better Indo-Pak relation. Recently after his party won, he projected that he wanted peace between India and Pakistan which included solving of all problems across the table.
“Secondly, he (Khan) mentioned that Kashmir is a festering problem between the two countries and that should be settled by talking so that all this bloodshed can stop and the people of the state can live in peace and harmony,” the NC leader said.
“Well, tall order, it will depend entirely how he and his government move against terrorism and try and build bridges which will not only strengthen relations between India and Pakistan but also SAARC which has been suffering for so many years. Better relations will also have an effect on Afghanistan because these two neighbouring countries can play an important role in bringing peace to that country,” he said.
About his name figuring in the charge sheet filed by the CBI in Rs 200 crore Jammu and Kashmir cricket scam, Abdullah said, “I would not like to talk about the case as the matter is sub-judice. We will wait for the trial to begin. I have full faith in the judiciary and I will get justice.”