J&K drama: Governor’s fax not working, Mehbooba stakes claim via tweethttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/jammu-kashmir-government-satya-pal-malik-pdp-nc-congress-fax-machine-5458013/

J&K drama: Governor’s fax not working, Mehbooba stakes claim via tweet

"In today's age of technology, it is very strange that the fax machine at THE Governor’s residence didn’t receive our fax but swiftly issued one regarding the assembly dissolution," Mehbooba Mufti tweeted later.

J&K alliance LIVE updates: J-K Governor dissolves Assembly after PDP, Lone stake claim
Satya Pal Malik at Raj Bhawan in Srinagar. (Photo: Shuaib Masoodi)

Amid the political churning in Jammu and Kashmir over government formation, the whereabouts of Governor Satya Pal Malik remained shrouded in mystery as both PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and People’s Conference chief Sajad Lone alleged that the Raj Bhawan fax was not working and sent their letters staking claim to form the government through Twitter and WhatsApp.

While staking claim to form the government in alliance with the Congress and the National Conference, former chief minister Mufti took to Twitter to claim that the Raj Bhawan had “strangely” not received her fax and that the governor was also “not available”. She added that she was also going to send the letter via mail.

“Have been trying to send this letter to Rajbhavan. Strangely the fax is not received. Tried to contact THE Governor on phone. Not available. Hope you see it,” Mufti tweeted tagging the governor’s Twitter handle along with the letter. In the missive, Mufti said the PDP had 29 legislators, while the Congress had 12 and the National Conference had 15 legislators in the 87-member J&K Assembly.

A party needs to have at least 44 seats in the 87-member state Assembly to stake claim to form the government. “You might have gathered from the media reports that the Congress and National Conference have also decided to extend support to our party to form a government in the state….That takes our collective strength to 56,” the letter said.

The “Houdini’s Act” of the governor was even mentioned by People Conference leader Sajad Lone, who too staked claim to form the next government in the state with the help of BJP’s 25 MLAs and 18 other legislators. Lone said as the fax of the Raj Bhawan was not working, he had sent the letter staking the claim on WhatsApp to the governor’s personal assistant Jevan Lal and even posted a screenshot of the message.

“We have sent a letter to His Excellency the Governor staking our claim to form the government. Fax not working. We havee whatsapped it to the PA to his excellency,” he tweeted.

However, the mystery ended soon after Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the legislative assembly minutes after Mufti and Lone tweeted out their letters staking claim to form the government.

This led Mehbooba to question if at all the fax machine at the governor’s residence was not working. “In today’s age of technology, it is very strange that the fax machine at THE Governor’s residence didn’t receive our fax but swiftly issued one regarding the assembly dissolution,” she tweeted later.

National Conference leader and former CM Omar Abdullah too joined the bandwagon, saying the J&K Raj Bhavan required a new fax machine urgently.