A bitter war of words broke out on Thursday over the abrupt dissolution of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly with the Governor being pilloried by the PDP, NC and Congress for citing their "ideological differences" in stalling their bid to form a government and a furious Omar Abdullah daring BJP leader Ram Madhav to prove his charge his party joined hands with arch rival PDP at the behest of Pakistan.
Satya Pal Malik on his part claimed "extensive horse-trading" was going on in the state and dismissed allegations he was acting at the behest of the Centre, as he held a rare press conference for a Governor over the issue of the dissolution to defend his decision. Malik maintained he was well within his right under the J&K Constitution to dissolve the Assembly.ALSO READ: Malik stands by decision to dissolve J&K Assembly, blasts PDP and Lone
As the political drama continued and triggered speculation whether Assembly polls will be held along with the Lok Sabha polls, Madhav, who is BJP's point person for the state, withdrew his words relating to Pakistan after exchanges with Abdullah on Twitter. Abdullah also demanded an apology from Madhav.
At a press conference in Srinagar, Abdullah questioned Malik's rejection of the move for a PDP-NC-Congress government on grounds of "different political ideologies" and asked why the same principle was not applied when the PDP joined hands BJP in 2015.
"That time, it was dubbed as the coming together of the north pole and the south pole... Today, you are telling other parties that you cannot come together even though the difference on some important issues between PDP, the NC and the Congress are small compared to the BJP and the PDP," the National Conference(NC) leader said.
Abdullah also said his party and the PDP will fight the next Assembly polls separately.ALSO READ: Apologise or prove your allegation, Omar Abdullah dares Ram Madhav
Former Lok Sabha secretary general and constitutional expert P D T Acharya said it is for the first time that an Assembly has been dissolved after the Governor concluded it was impossible to form a stable government by parties with "opposing political ideologies", dubbing it "not credible".
Abdullah asked the governor to make public reports about the use of money and horse trading in government formation in the state as was mentioned by him in a press communique on Wednesday night.
People have a right to know who was buying MLAs and who was funding it, he told reporters.ALSO READ: Abdullah, J-K governor face off over decision to dissolve assembly
In Jammu, the winter capital of the state, the Governor was addressing the press at the Raj Bhavan around the same time when Abdullah was having a media interaction in Srinagar and training his guns at Malik.
"I have taken this decision as per the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. There is a mechanism that I do not have to look towards New Delhi or move to Parliament or seek permission from the president. I just had to inform them," Malik said rejecting suggestions he took the decision at the behest of the Centre.
"For the past 15 to 20 days, I have been getting reports of large-scale horse trading. MLAs are being threatened and several types of underhand dealings are going on," Malik said.
"Had he given any side the opportunity to form government, it would have created a a bigger mess," he claimed.
As Madhav and Abdullah exchanged sharp words on Twitter, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti also questioned the BJP leader's comment alleging regional parties were working at Pakistan's behest.
"Shocked to see baseless allegations against mainstream parties in JK following dictates from Pakistan levelled by @rammadhavbjp ji," Mehbooba, a former chief minister, said in a series of tweets.
Shocked to see baseless allegations against mainstream parties in JK following dictates from Pakistan levelled by @rammadhavbjp ji. 1/8— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) November 22, 2018
Sad to see what the political discourse of our country has been reduced to. How does one define a party’s nationalistic credentials? Nationalistic and patriotic only if you are with the Centre and Pakistan sponsored and anti nationalistic otherwise? 2/8— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) November 22, 2018
All mainstream parties in JK have taken grave risks to bridge the trust deficit that exists between people of the state vis a vis the country. 3/8— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) November 22, 2018
Both PDP and NC have been allies of BJP at some point. Strange that our credentials werent questioned then. 4/8— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) November 22, 2018
But just because our MLAs had enough integrity to stand up to your failed attempts of defection, they are now anti nationalistic? 5/8— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) November 22, 2018
India is a great country and democracy is a battle of ideas. Lets not make a mockery of those very institutions and people.6/8— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) November 22, 2018
Mehbooba said all mainstream parties in Jammu and Kashmir have taken grave risks to bridge the trust deficit that exists between people of the state vis-a-vis the country and it was strange their credentials were not questioned when the NC or the PDP was in alliance with the BJP. ALSO READ: Mufti accuses J-K Guv of favouring BJP, says 'our pleas fell on deaf ears'
We had aligned with the BJP to change this pernicious mindset. Undoubtedly Pakistan has an impact on the situation in J&K.
But its upto our country to change that from negative to positive and tread the path that was taken by Vajpayee ji.— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) November 22, 2018
Madhav had alleged that "fresh instructions" were given to the two regional parties from across the border to come together and form a government.
The NC and PDP, he alleged, had boycotted local body polls in the state earlier because of instructions from Pakistan.
"You have RAW, NIA & IB at your command (CBI too is your parrot) so have the guts to place evidence in the public domain. Either prove this or be man enough to apologise. Don't practice shoot & scoot politics," Abdullah, a former chief minister said.
I dare you @rammadhavbjp ji to prove your allegation. You have RAW, NIA & IB at your command (CBI too is your parrot) so have the guts to place evidence in the public domain. Either prove this or be man enough to apologise. Don’t practice shoot & scoot politics. https://t.co/KEbOo0z6O2— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) November 22, 2018
Madhav responded, "Just take it in your stride Omar Abdullah. Not questioning your patriotism at all. But the sudden love between NC and PDP and the hurry to form government leads to many suspicions and political comments. Not to offend you." In the tweet, he added an emoji with a toothy smile.
Just take it in your stride @OmarAbdullah Not questioning your patriotism at all. But d sudden love between NC n PDP n d hurry to form government leads to many suspicions n political comments. Not to offend u.