Recently we discussed about the formation of coalition government in Karnataka. Jammu and Kashmir also formed a coalition government in 2015. BJP and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had formed a coalition with Mehbooba Mufti as the Chief Minister.
Today BJP withdrew from the coalition and PDP do not have the majority to form the government. CM Mehbooba Mufti resigned and BJP is calling for Governor’s rule.
Here, of the 89 members state assembly in J&K, BJP had 25 seats and PDP had 28 seats and together had crossed majority mark 45 seats. Now, with BJP pulling out, PDP with 28 seats cannot prove the majority mark to form the government. It is clear failure to continue the government.
What happens next according to the Indian Constitution
According to Article 356 of the Indian Constitution, the proclamation in respect of failure of the constitutional machinery may be made by the President of India when the constitutional government of the state cannot be carried on for any reason.
Thus with the proclamation of article 356 – failure of constitutional machinery (as they cannot form the government according to the constitution) the state legislature would be suspended and the executive authority of the state would be assumed by the President of India in whole or in part. The Governor, representative of the centre in State, will rule as directed by the President. This is why it is famously known as ‘President’s rule’.
President’s rule cannot go on forever. It can be extended to a maximum period of 3 years. Within that timeframe elections should be held and government should be formed in the State.
But what happens in J&K?
Where as the above description may apply to the rest of the States in India, there is a slight variation in terms of J&K. J&K has its own State Constitution. In the case of failure of governmental functions section 92 of the J&K constitution provides for ‘Governor’s Rule’. The Governor, consulting the President of India will proclaim the ‘Governor’s rule.’ Within six months if the Governor’s rule is not invoked then President’s rule is proclaimed under Article 356 of the Indian Constitution.