Jammu and Kashmir is unlikely to have a popular government anytime soon as the central government may recommend a spell of President’s rule at the expiry of Governor’s rule on December 19, official sources said.

Under the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, there is no provision for extension of Governor’s rule. The state is under central rule since June 19 after the BJP withdrew support from the then Mehbooba Mufti-led coalition government.

The six-month term of Governor’s rule comes to an end on December 19.

Therefore, for the extension of the central rule in Jammu and Kashmir, a spell of President’s rule would be necessary as there may not be an elected government, a source privy to the development said.

A popular government is unlikely to be formed in Jammu and Kashmir anytime soon under the current assembly, the source said.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik had told PTI last month that he was in favour of holding early elections in the state as he did not think a popular government can be formed out of the present House.

No party enjoys a majority in the 87-member Assembly, in which the PDP has 28 MLAs, the BJP 25 and the National Conference 15.

President’s rule can be imposed after the Union Cabinet, headed by the prime minister, makes a recommendation to the President to this effect following a report of the governor.

If President’s rule is imposed, it will be effectively a “fresh spell” of central rule even though it would be like an extension of the current spell of Governor’s rule, the source said.

Under such circumstances, there is no need for the central government to get parliamentary nod for extension of central rule beyond December 19.

Governor’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir is imposed under Section 92 of the state’s Constitution, President’s rule is imposed under 356 of the Constitution.

Therefore, practically, the central government would not be required to get the approval from both Houses of Parliament for extension of central rule in Jammu and Kashmir if its rule is extended beyond December 19, another source said. (PTI)