Dissident BJP leader challenges J&K Assembly dissolution in Supreme Court

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In an interesting twist to the recent political drama surrounding the competitive staking of claim by the PDP and People’s Conference to government formation, a former BJP MLA Gagan Bhagat has challenged in the Supreme Court  the dissolution of J&K  Assembly by Governor Satya Pal Malik. 

Bhagat was suspended by the party in August this year after he publicly spoke in favour of the Article 35A, the  law which grants special privileges to the J&K state subjects and forbids outsiders from settling in the state.

Bhagat filed a writ petition in the apex court through his advocate D Mahesh Babu. Bhagat has been supported by another BJP dissident leader Deena Nath Bhagat.

 Both have termed the dissolution of the Assembly unconstitutional and sought the conduct of the floor test before inviting any party or a coalition of parties to form the government.  

“I think the dissolution of J&K Assembly at the eleventh hour is unconstitutional. So, I have filed a writ petition in SC to challenge it,” Bhagat told the media.

He  said Governor Malik should have allowed Mehbooba Mufti and Sajjad Lone who staked claim to form their respective government  a chance to prove their majority. 

“Isn’t this what democracy is all about?” he said.

Bhagat said there was no reason for the Governor to suddenly dissolve the Assembly after keeping it in suspended animation for five months.

“I also found it odd that the fax machine was not working at the Governor’s office the day Mehbooba and Lone sent their respective letters,” Bhagat said. “But it started working around the same time when Governor issued the order to dissolve the Assembly”.