Jammu and Kashmir Govenor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday in a surprise move dissolved the state assembly soon after rivals - former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Jammu And Kashmir People's Conference Leader Sajad Lone - staked claim to form government.
Ms Mufti, who earlier formed the government in alliance with the BJP, said said she has the support of 56 lawmakers, including 12 from the Congress and 15 from the National Conference. Mr Lone said he would "submit the Letter of Support from the BJP legislature Party and other members supporting the government."
The governor, however, said the move to dissolve the assembly was justified.
Here is the full text of the statement:
"The Governor, Jammu and Kashmir, Shri Satya Pal Malik, today issued an order dissolving the Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir with immediate effect.
The Governor came to this conclusion based on the material available to him from multiple sources. The main reasons because of which the Governor arrived at this decision are :
i) The impossibility of forming a stable government by the coming together of political parties with opposing political ideologies including some which have been demanding dissolution of the Assembly; whereas the experience of the past few years shows that with the fractured mandate that is there in the Assembly, it is not possible to form a stable government comprising of like minded parties. The coming together of such parties in a grouping is nothing but an attempt to gain power rather than to form a responsive government.
ii) Reports of extensive horse trading and possible exchange of money in order to secure the support of legislators belonging to widely diverging political ideologies just to be able to form a government. Such activities are not healthy for democracy and vitiate the political process.
iii) Serious doubts about the longevity of any such arrangement where there are competing claims of majority.
iv) The fragile security scenario in the state of Jammu and Kashmir where there is a need to have a stable and supportive environment for security forces which are engaged in extensive anti- militancy operations and are gradually gaining control over the security situation.
The Governor came to the conclusion that, in this background, he has satisfied himself that the best course of action is to dissolve the assembly so as to provide stability and security to the state and hold elections at an appropriate time so that a government with a clear mandate is duly formed."