Satyapal Malik defends move to dissolve J&K Assembly in 2018

Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Satya Pal Malik at Raj Bhawan srinagar. Express Photo by Shuaib Masoodi. 03.10.2018.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Satyapal Malik, has once again defended his contentious move of dissolving the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly on November 21, 2018. He attributed the decision to Peoples’ Conference leader Sajad Lone’s purported intention to engage in ‘horse-trading’.

During an interview on senior Supreme Court advocate Kapil Sibal’s YouTube channel “Dil Se,” Malik asserted that the decision to dissolve the assembly was solely his own and not influenced by the BJP-government. When pressed about the constitutional legality of the dissolution, Malik initially cited it being in the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution, only to be corrected by Sibal, to which Malik questioned, “Then how did it happen?”

Regarding pressure from the central government, Malik denied any coercion, stating that despite seeking advice, he received no response from the Centre.

Malik highlighted his reluctance to invite Sajad Lone to form the government, expressing concern over potential horse-trading. He recalled, “I asked Lone. He didn’t have even six MLAs. But he said that if you let me take over, I can provide you the majority in one week… I sensed there would be major horse-trading if I allowed that. This is not my job, and I will not do it.”

While acknowledging Mehbooba Mufti’s majority, Malik defended his decision to dissolve the assembly, citing fears from various parties about potential defections due to the looming threat of horse-trading. 

He stated, “Several parties were keen that the assembly should be dissolved because they feared that their party members would be weaned away… which is why I dissolved the assembly.”

Malik reiterated that his action was aimed at preventing potential horse-trading, emphasizing the increasing threats faced by various parties, leading to the dissolution of the assembly.