Jammu and Kashmir witnessed an intense political drama on Wednesday which finally resulted in the dissolution of the state Legislative Assembly. Hours after Mehbooba Mufti's claim to form a coalition government with sworn enemies, the National Conference and the Congress, Governor Satya Pal Malik announced the dissolution of the Assembly. The move crashed all the dreams of Mufti and company to return to power in the Valley. In between Mufti's announcement and Governor's decision to dissolve the Assembly, a new entrant - Jammu Kashmir Peoples' Conference (JKPC) chairman Sajjad Lone, came out of nowhere and staked claim to form the government with the support of BJP and 18 other MLAs.
From the unexpected PDP- Congress -NC alliance to Governor Malik's 'desperate' move to dissolve Assembly, below is how the entire political drama in Jammu and Kashmir unfolded:
• Unconfirmed reports of 'grand alliance' in Kashmir: On the late Wednesday afternoon, unconfirmed reports of almost out of the equation PDP, Congress and the National Conference grand alliance came out in the media.
• A PDP leader claimed that he has been informed by the party high command that they are going to tie up with Congress and the NC.
• Soon after this, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad confirmed that his party is in talks with the PDP and the NC to join hands to form the government in Jammu and Kashmir.
• Minutes after the Congress leader's announcement, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti made a formal announcement that she has sent a letter to Raj Bhawan staking claim to form the government. In the letter faxed to the Governor's office, Mufti mentioned that she has the support of 56 MLAs - well above then the required 44.
• Soon after Mufti's claim, a new twist came in the drama when Jammu Kashmir Peoples' Conference (JKPC) chairman Sajjad Lone said that he has also sent a letter to the Governor's house to stake claim to form the government. Lone (2 MLAs) claimed that he has the support of BJP (25 MLAs) and 18 other lawmakers.
• While the dust was still settling, Jammu and Kashmir Governor - a former BJP leader - announced the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly with immediate effect. The move snatched the bite from the Congress's mouth.
With the dissolution of the Assembly, now fresh elections will be held in the state. The date of the elections will be decided by the Election Commission. However, given the recent situation in the Valley and lower voter turnout in the recent local bodies polls, fresh elections any time soon are highly unlikely.