Number of times Governor’s rule imposed in J&K
Not a new phenomenon for the people of Jammu and Kashmir when the Indian state, post the collapse of the disparate alliance between People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), has again promulgated the Governor’s Rule in J&K. The most important fact is that this kind of phenomenon has already been witnessed on seven occasions in the past and now it has set for the eighth term with the same governor N N Vohra, a former civil servant who became the Governor of J&K State on June 25, 2008, serving for the fourth time. Kashmiri people have been witnessing it since the last four decades with the observance of the different political developments in the state alongside the Indian State’s incongruous approach to the people’s dissenting voices to the Indian rule in J&K. The seventh governor’s rule was observeed after when the then Chief Minister of J&K state Mufti Mohammad Sayeed got expired and thus it took the allies; BJP-PDP, 87 days to form new government with Mehbooba Mufti as the Chief Minister.
The Kashmir politics has seen many changes as well as betrayals; internally as well as externally forming strange political developments in the state. Following are the instances when people of Kashmir witnessed those political developments and faced governor’s rule for seven times.
From March 26 – July 9, 1977
L. K. Jha happens to be the first governor of the J&K state and his term was observed from March 26 – July 09, 1977. The governor’s rule was promulgated in J&K when congress withdrew its support to Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. Sheikh had come to the power following an accord with the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi in the year 1975. And therefore the rule remained for 105 days with the same party as administrator of the state that is when National Conference (NC) returned to power in the assembly polls.
From March 6 – November 7, 1986
The second instance of governor rule in Kashmir was observed from March 06 – November 07, 1986. In March 1986, the state Congress, again, headed by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed withdrew support to the government of Ghulam Mohammad Shah, the son- in-law of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. Therefore, Jagmohan Malhotra, a former Indian Civil Servant, was appointed as the governor of the state for the second time and remained in the same position for 246 days. Jagmohan was believed to be an honest and peace loving person from India but this image could not live for more years. After the six months of Governor’s Rule, the President’s Rule under Article 356 of the Indian Constitution was imposed.
From January 19, 1990 – October 9, 1996
The third governor’s rule was very harsh in every sense and unforgotten from the memories of Kashmiri people. It was when the actual armed conflict, a violent resentment to the Indian occupation, broke out in the state. The people of Kashmir, during Jagmohan’s tenure, whom they had seen as an honest and peace loving, witnessed him falling from the edifices of humanity as in, through his hands, they witnessed many massacres including other human rights violations during this six years and 264 days term. The resignation of Dr. Farooq Abdullah, the then Chief Minister, paved way for the governor rule in the state from January 19, 1990 – October 09, 1996. And again National Conference returned to power after assembly elections were held first time after the eruption of militancy. This was the longest spell of Governor’s Rule; six years and 264 days which ended in October 1996.
From October 18-November 2, 2002
In the year 2002, governor’s rule was again imposed in the State with G C Sxena as the governor of the state. It was when the caretaker Dr. Farooq Abdullah refused to continue in the office in the wake of his party’s defeat in the assemble elections that year and thus Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, in the scene of negotiated alliance with Congress and other odd independents formed a government. On March 1st, 2002 Sayeed was sworn in as Chief Minister of the state ending the direct central rule. It was the shortest spell of Governor’s rule; 15 days after when PDP and Congress with support of 12 independent candidates formed a government on November 02, 2002.
From July 11, 2008-January 5, 2009
The fifth governor of the J&K State was N N Vohra who was appointed as the governor for the first time. This was promulgated on July 11, 2008 when Ghulam Nabi Azad resigned as Chief Minister of J&K State. This development took its form when PDP withdrew support to the Ghulam Nabi Azad-led Congress-PDP coalition government on the Amarnath land transfer issue. This governor’s rule remained for 178 days. Thereafter the elections were held and NC leader Omar Abdullah was sworn in as the youngest chief minister of the state.
From January 9, 2015-March 1, 2015
Governor’s rule was again imposed in the state for the sixth time when the assembly elections were held and no party or combination of parties formed a government. The governor rule ended when the PDP and the BJP knitted an alliance with Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as the Chief Minister of the State. And this time it was imposed for 51 days.
From January 8, 2016-April 4, 2016
With the death of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the J&K state was again placed under the governor’s rule with N N Vohra executing the central rule. It was imposed when the process of forming a new government was taking time.
The J&K State has been again placed under the governor’s rule and this political development in the state came after when BJP pulled out of its alliance with PDP on June 19, 2018. This decision from the BJP came right after the five days of the report of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) on J&K was released. This report, for being the first ever by UN and historic in nature, was welcomed by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) particularly by all the people in Kashmir; therefore claiming its true space in the conflict-hit Jammu and Kashmir State. The reason of BJP pull-out from the alliance with BJP, as seen by the people mostly young, is the criticism India faced through the UN report following the assassination of the Chief Editor of Daily Rising Kashmir and prominent journalist Syed Shujaat Bukhari by some unidentified gunmen.
Author is Independent Researcher and Professional Social Worker based in
Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir.
Disclaimer: Views expressed are exclusively personal and do not necessarily reflect the position or editorial policy of Oracle Opinions.