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Governor's Rule Imposed In Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir was tonight placed under Governor's Rule with the process of new government formation following the death of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed taking some time.

"Governor's rule has been imposed in the state of Jammu and Kashmir," a Home Ministry spokesperson said in Delhi. The President cleared the recommendation of the Union Home Ministry for imposing Governor's Rule on the basis of a recommendation from Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra.

The state had to be put under Governor's Rule in view of the reluctance of Mr Sayeed's daughter Mehbooba Mufti to take oath during the mourning period though her party has already conveyed to the Governor that 28 MLAs of the PDP legislature party backed her for the Chief Minister's post. 79-year-old Mr Sayeed died on Thursday after a brief illness and since then there is a Constitutional vacuum.

PDP's coalition ally BJP has also indicated that it would take a decision on new government formation once the four-day morning period is over tomorrow. PDP and BJP dismissed speculation about any differences or new conditions between them over formation of new government. "There are certainly no conditions from our side and there was no meeting of our leaders on government formation. "We respect the right of the bereaved family of Mufti Sahib to mourn his death," BJP state president Sat Paul Sharma told PTI.

Mr Sharma said he had received a letter from the Governor on government formation but the party will take a decision on it only after Mr Sayeed's fourth day ceremony is observed tomorrow. "There is no hurry on this issue. We will definitely be meeting after tomorrow's ceremony for Mufti Sahib and take a decision," he said.

Mr Sharma said it was a "historic" coalition between the BJP and the PDP in the state and "we would like it continue". "We are interested in peace and development in the state and we want this coalition to continue on this path shown by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed," he added.

Senior PDP leader and former education minister Naeem Akhtar also dismissed suggestions about any conditions set by either his party or the BJP for forming the new government. "Mehboobaji is still mourning the great loss... Mufti sahib was not only her father but guide, mentor and inspiration. "We are not in any condition to discuss government formation at this moment so how can there be any talk of conditions," Mr Akhtar said.

He said the party leadership including the president will discuss and decide on government formation at an "appropriate time".

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