New Delhi, Dec 28 (IANS) The Lok Sabha on Friday approved the proclamation of President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir with opposition parties demanding installation of a popular government while the Centre asserting that it was committed to a “democratic process” and ready to hold Assembly elections in the troubled state.
Responding to the debate, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that President’s rule in the state was recommended as no other option was left, as no party had staked its claim to form an alternative government.
Although the resolution was adopted, Speaker Sumitra MahajanA allowed a brief discussion after some of the opposition members pressed for a discussion.
“Till we are in power, no wrong or unethical work will be allowed to happen in Jammu and Kashmir… Although it is responsibility of the Election Commission to hold election, we are ready for it. We are ready to provide security as desired by the Commission to hold elections,” the Home Minister said.
He denied opposition charge that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tried to form government with a regional group ahead of the dissolution of the state Assembly by Governor Satya Pal Malik.
“There must not be any doubt about the intentions of the government. If the BJP wanted to form government by indulging in horse trading, then it would have done so during the six-month Governor’s rule. We did not try to form government, neither during the six months of the Governor rule nor in the last days (before the dissolution of Asssembly),” he said.
Singh said in December he came to know through media reports that Congress, PDP and National Conference were trying to forge an alliance, but this report was denied the very next day by senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad who said his party was not in favour of any alliance.
“Under this situation, the assembly was dissolved,” he said, adding that everyone wanted a solution to the problem and his government was promoting grassroots democracy as it had recently conducted the elections to the local bodies.
Initiating the debate, Shashi Tharoor of Congress said the Assembly was dissolved without any floor test despite the fact that Congress, the PDP and the National Conference had come together to form the government.
TMC’s Saugata Ray also opposed the President’s rule terming it arbitrary, unconstitutional and demanded immediate election in the state.
NCP’s Supriya Sule said the government should explain the reason behind imposition of President’s rule. She said it came at a time when there was good voting in panchayat elections.
CPI-M’s Mohammed Salim demanded installation of a popular government in the state and hit out at government of its “ill-thought and misleading policy” on Jammu and Kashmir.
Intervening in the debate, Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office, Jitendra Singh blamed former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for the crisis in Jammu and Kashmir, saying if he had not interfered in the functioning of Sardar Patel (then Home Minister), the situation would have been different in the state.
Earlier, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma introduced the Jallianwala Bagh National (Amendment) Bill, 2018, amid din by Congress, AIADMK and the TDP.
Only one question could be taken up during question hour and the House was adjourned briefly due to slogan shouting by Congress on Rafale fighter jet deal. The AIADMK members were protesting against construction of a dam across Cauvery river while the TDP members were shouting slogans in support of their demands related to special status to Andhra Pradesh.
During Zero hour, the Communist Party of India-Marxist raised a demand in the House to immediately pass the long pending Women’s Reservation Bill.
The demand raised by CPI-M’s P.K. Sreemathi Teacher got support from parties including the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and others.