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J&K gov. formation: Governor's rule possible under shadow of political deadlock

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Srinagar (Jan. 08, 2015): Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday appeared hurtling towards a spell of Governor's rule with incumbent NN Vohra sending a report to the Centre on the political impasse after Omar Abdullah asked him to relieve him as caretaker Chief Minister.

The report to the President is understood to be containing two or three suggestions including the option of a spell of Governor's rule in the wake of no party being in a position to cobble up numbers required to form a government after the highly-fractured verdict in the Assembly elections, sources said.

The Governor's report comes a day after Omar met him in Delhi on Wednesday night soon after his return from London after a 12-day visit to his ailing parents and asked him to relieve him as caretaker Chief Minister. Omar told him that the state needed a full-time administrator to deal with the situation along the border with Pakistan and providing relief to flood-affected people in the Kashmir valley.

He was asked to continue as caretaker Chief Minister on December 24 after his resignation in the wake of defeat of his party, National Conference (NC), in the Assembly poll on December 23.  Omar said he had assumed government formation would be a matter of week or 10 days. "Today we seem even further away from that goal than we were 10 days ago," he said. "Given the situation on the border with 10,000 displaced, the hardships of winter & the continuing need for relief for flood affected, I believe the interests of the state will only be served by a full time administrator & not a caretaker with no mandate to govern," he said in a series of tweets.

He also needled arch-rival PDP to say that it was for that party to "explain to the people that with 28 MLAs and offers of support from 2 other parties, why the state has central rule." NC and Congress had offered support to PDP.

More than a fortnight after the results have been out, neither PDP which emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats nor BJP with 25 could get the magic figure of 44 to stake claim to form a government in the 87 member House. NC has 15 MLAs while the Congress has 12. Following the hung verdict, BJP has been in touch with both NC and PDP for government formation but nothing concrete has emerged so far to break the deadlock. NC does not appear to be in favour of joining hands with BJP while PDP was struggling to convince its cadres for a tie up with the saffron party.

The new Government is required to be constituted before January 19 when the term of the current Assembly expires failing which Governor's rule looks inevitable. Omar's decision may have also hastened the Governor's decision to send a report.