New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has defended his reported statement that he was forced to dissolve the Assembly as the Centre wanted him to invite BJP-backed People's Conference leader Sajad Lone, while the regional parties rallied behind PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti.
At an event in MP’s Gwalior, Malik had reportedly said that he chose to dissolve the Assembly instead of obliging either sides as he didn’t want to go down in history as a “dishonest” man. “If I looked at Delhi, I would have had to make Lone's sarkar. I would have gone down in history as a corrupt man. I ended the whole issue. Whoever has to abuse will do so, but I am convinced that I did the right thing,” he had said in remarks bound to trigger a fresh controversy over the dissolution of the Assembly.
Speaking to CNN-News18 on Tuesday, Malik stood by his statement. “Whatever I said is right. Sajad Lone has the numbers, obviously Delhi will push for him,” he said.
The Governor repeated his earlier claim that PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah made no “serious” efforts to get in touch with him. “You can’t just fax or tweet and form the government. Why didn’t they come to Jammu? Why did they not call me?” he said.
Countering Malik, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah said the Assembly should have been given a chance to see the numbers for itself. “He (Malik) has to defend himself in front of the government in Delhi, and you know what the government is all about. The Assembly should have seen who has the majority. It cannot be decided in the Raj Bhawan. Why didn’t they dissolve the Assembly earlier,” he said.
The Governor had abruptly dissolved the state assembly last week, hours after the PDP staked claim to form a government with the backing of rival National Conference 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.