Governor’s Rule: Bane or Boon

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By Fast Kashmir on 06/07/2018.

Governor’s Rule: Bane or Boon
Sabahat Mir

Srinagar, July 06: The state of Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing Governor’s Rule following the sudden break in the ties between BJP and PDP. This is the eighth spell of a governor ruling the state, and fourth time NN Vohra ruling the state. Pertinently Vohra a former civil servant took charge of Governor on June 25, 2008.
The imposition of Governor’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir is slightly different than in other states. In other states, President’s Rule is imposed under Article  356 of the Constitution of India. In J&K, Governor’s Rule is mentioned in Article 370 section 92-‘Provisions in case of failure of constitutional machinery in the state’.
The split between BJP and PDP was wracked by bittered political feuds and worsening security challenges. The BJP blamed the PDP for failing to improve the security conditions in the Kashmir valley.
BJP had won 25 seats and the PDP 28 in the 87-member Assembly and came together in an alliance, two months after the December 2014 elections.The NC has 15 seats, the Congress 12 and others 7.
After the split, both National Conference and the Congress said that they would not join hands with any party to form government in the state. The BJP also said that it favoured Governor’s Rule.
Refuting the fake news of government formation with PDP, the General Secretary of Congress Party in charge J&K, Ambika Soni told media that there is no question of forming the government with PDP.
“The matter has not been discussed at any level .It is not on the table and what is being said is pure speculation”, she said.
Sources inside the Congress Party said that PDP has lost political capital and Congress will not try to form the government in current scenario or at least in the present Assembly as it would adversely affect the party.
The demise of PDP-BJP government has brought the focus back on legal battle for protecting Article 35-A, which empowers J&K Legislature to define permanent residents and allows them exclusive right to buy land in the state.
Amid a surge in militancy in the state, many anticipate Governor’s Rule to bring about some relief, even though it has not had a smooth track record in the state and while NN Vohra is credited with improving efficiency of the government during previous stints of Governor’s Rule, under him, Jagmohan Malhotra is still remembered and reviled for being at the helm of affairs when militancy and human rights violations were at their peak in 1990.
 Kashmir-based political commentator Irshad Ahmad said, “We have never been satisfied with the popularly elected governments when it comes to deliverance.There is nepotism and a pick-and-choose policy.But the governor goes by merit”.
Explaining how things are different under Governor’s Rule, Ahmad added,”With Governor’s Rule, bureaucrats and officials feel like they are in safe hands.So,it is good.However, history has given a bad name to this form of governance in J&K”.
Governor’s Rule was first imposed in 1977 during LK Jha’s tenure. Though many experts call Governor’s Rule “not healthy for democracy”, some believe that it has paved way for development, however, it would be too early to commit whether it is bane or boon.  (KNB)