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India

Governor Satya Pal Malik favours early polls in J&K for a stable govt

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Sunday said he is in favour of holding early elections in J&K. The Governor said does not think a popular government can be formed out of the current assembly. The restive state has been under Governor's rule since June after president Mehbooba Mufti resigned as chief minister, following the BJP's withdrawal of support to her government.

Asked if a popular government can be formed out of the present Assembly, the Governor replied, "I don't think so. At least, I will not be part of any 'dhandli' (shenanigans), adding, "The Assembly election is not my purview. The Centre and the Election Commission will see to it," said Governor Malik on the sidelines of the Police Commemoration Day function at Zewan, J&K on Sunday.

Last month, Governor Malik had reassured the political parties that his administration would not take a stand on the state subject law under Article 35 A and only the democratically elected government would take a decision when it is in place.

To form the government in the 87 member House, one requires 44 members to prove a majority. The PDP is the single largest party with 28 members followed by BJP (25) MLAs, National Conference (15) and Congress (12), the People's Conference led by separatist turned MLA Sajad Lone has two MLAs, the CPIM and PDF have one member each and rest are Independents.

Silencing the critics on the low turnout in the Urban Local Bodies polls, Malik said that low turnout has been witnessed in the past too. "The polls were peaceful. It is a positive sign. Around 10,000 people came out to vote on the last day in Srinagar. Stones were pelted at the voters but the voters instead threw stones at the stone pelters. The police had to protect the stone throwers," he said. The Governor appreciated the synergy and coordination between the J&K police and Central Security forces and the Army. 

— With agency inputs

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