Why Governor’s Rule in J&K when other Indian states have provision of President’s Rule

Why Governor’s Rule in J&K when other Indian states have provision of President’s Rule

With the resignation of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, the Governor’s Rule is likely to come into effect in the restive state. This will be the eighth time that J&K would come under the Governor’s Rule in four decades. Jammu and Kashmir has come under Governor’s Rule on seven occasions in the last four decades with the first being in March 1977.

It will be the fourth time that the state would be placed under Governor’s Rule during NN Vohra’s tenure. Vohra, a former civil servant, became the Governor on June 25, 2008.

Explained: Governor’s Rule and President’s Rule

In India, President’s Rule is implemented in case of absence of an elected government with the exception of Jammu and Kashmir where Governor’s Rule is imposed.

In the event of failure of constitutional machinery in any a state, the President’s Rule is imposed under Article 356 of the Indian Constitution. But in the case of Jammu and Kashmir, Governor’s Rule is imposed for a period of six months under Section 92 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Governor’s Rule can be imposed for six months after the consent of the President of India. The State Assembly is either kept in suspended animation or dissolved. If the Constitutional machinery is not restored in 6 months, the provision of Article 356 of the Indian Constitution is extended and the President’s rule is imposed.

Governor’s Rule for the 8th time in 4 decades:

March 1977

Governor’s Rule was imposed for the first time on March 26, 1977 during the tenure of Governor L K Jha after state Congress — then headed by Sayeed — withdrew support to the minority government of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah of National Conference. Sheikh had come to the power following an accord with then prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1975.

The Governor’s Rule lasted for 105 days and ended as the National Conference founder returned to power in the Assembly polls.

March 1986

Governor’s Rule was imposed for the second time in March 1986 after state Congress — again headed by Sayeed — withdrew support to the minority Government of Ghulam Mohammad Shah.

Shah became the Chief Minister after he led a rebellion with National Conference against his brother-in-law and then incumbent Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah in 1984.

This 246-day spell ended after Farooq Abdullah entered into an accord of his own with the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi

January 1990

The third time Governor’s Rule was imposed in January 1990 when Farooq Abdullah resigned as the chief minister over the appointment of Jagmohan as the Governor following the eruption of militancy in the state.

Sayeed was the Union Home Minister at that time and had brushed aside Farooq Abdullah’s opposition to Jagmohan’s appointment. This was the longest spell of Governor’s Rule — six years and 264 days — which ended in October 1996 after National Conference returned to power in Assembly elections held after a gap of nine-and-a-half years.

October 2002

Governor’s Rule had to be imposed in the state for the fourth time in October 2002 after caretaker Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah refused to continue in the office in the wake of his party’s defeat in the assembly elections that year. The 2002 Assembly polls threw up a hung assembly with no party in a position to form a government on its own.

Sayeed, whose regional PDP had won 16 seats, negotiated an alliance with the Congress and dozen-odd independents to form the government, ending the 15-day direct Central rule on March 1, when Sayeed was sworn in as the chief minister.

It was the shortest spell of Governor’s Rule — 15 days — as the PDP and Congress with support of 12 independents formed a government on November 2.

June 2008

Governor’s Rule was imposed in the state for the fifth time for 174 days after the PDP withdrew support to Ghulam Nabi Azad-led Congress-PDP coalition government in 2008.

The PDP withdrew support to the government on June 28, 2008 following widespread protests during the Amarnath land row agitation that pitted Hindu-dominated Jammu region against the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley.

Azad was to seek a vote of confidence in the Legislative Assembly on July 7 but chose to resign instead. The central rule came to an end on January 5, 2009 after NC leader Omar Abdullah was sworn in as the youngest chief minister of the state.

It was for the first time that Governor’s Rule was imposed during the tenure of Vohra.

December 2014

The Governor’s Rule was imposed in the state for the sixth time after the assembly election results on December 23, 2014 threw up a hung assembly with no party or combination of parties able to stake claim for government formation and Omar Abdullah, the caretaker chief minister, asking to be relieved from the duties with immediate effect on January 7.

The central rule ended after the PDP and the BJP stitched an alliance paving the way for the return of Mufti Sayeed as chief minister on March 1, 2015.

January 2016

With the process of a new government formation in the state following the death of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed taking time, the state was placed under Governor’s Rule. When Governor’s Rule was imposed for the seventh time in 2016 and the third during Vohra’s tenure, Omar Abdullah had said imposition of Governor’s Rule during Vohra’s tenure “must be a record in itself”.

June 2018

The BJP pulled out of its alliance with the PDP on Tuesday, saying it has become impossible to continue in the government in view of the growing radicalism and terrorism in the state.

After Mufti resigned as the Chief Minister, NN Vohra forwarded his report to the President of India for the imposition of Governor’s Rule under Section 92 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.

(With PTI inputs)

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