Azad’s resignation leaves Kashmir governor in quandary

July 7th, 2008 - 7:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, July 7 (IANS) In the wake of Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad’s decision Monday to quit his office, political focus in Jammu and Kashmir shifted to the state’s Raj Bhavan where Governor N.N. Vohra was exploring alternative possibilities. Few options are available with the governor in Jammu and Kashmir, which has its own constitution unlike other Indian states.

“The governor will now have to write to the leader of the largest single party in the 87-member assembly (the National Conference) whether they want to stake a claim to form the government in the state,” said a political analyst here.

However, the National Conference has already made its intentions clear that it was not interested in forming the government.

“We have already made it clear that we do not want to stake any claim to government formation,” National Conference president Omar Abdullah told IANS after Azad announced his decision to quit office.

The National Conference’s decision not to stake the claim has further narrowed down the options for Governor Vohra.

“The governor cannot under the present circumstances ask Azad to continue as the care taker (chief minister) since he has already submitted his resignation to the governor,” said a Kashmir constitutional expert.

“The possibility of a care-taker chief minister arises only in case of the dissolution of the assembly, which would be highly inappropriate for Azad to recommend to the governor at this stage.”

“This means, clearly the governor will have to explore new political possibilities before he resorts to his constitutional right to recommend imposition of governor’s rule in the state,” said the expert.

Asked whether there was still a possibility of the governor asking Azad to continue as the care-taker chief minister, the expert said: “He will, in that case, have to defer acceptance of Azad’s resignation in the first place.”

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