Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday announced the resignation of his government after failing to secure majority support in the 87-member state assembly.
Azad announced his decision to resign on the floor of the House at the end of his one-and a-half-hour-long speech on the confidence motion he moved this morning in the house.
However, Azad withdrew the confidence motion which was to be put to vote to prove his support in the house.
The one-day session of the state assembly had been convened on the instance of state governor N.N.Vohra who had asked Azad to prove his majority in the house, following withdrawal of support by the People's Democratic Party (PDP), the key coalition partner on June 28.
The PDP withdrew from the government in the wake of massive protests in the Valley against the allotment of forest land to Sri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) which was subsequently cancelled by the state cabinet to defuse the situation.
"I am resigning," announced Azad in the state assembly wherein 87 members belonging to various political parties were present, with the lone exception being former state chief minister and PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed who is in the US for treatment.
Addressing the house which assembled this morning, Azad listed the achievements of his two-and-a-half-year-old government indicating earlier on his intention to resign.
Azad then proceeded, under heavily security, to Raj Bhavan to formally hand over his resignation letter to the governor.
The situation paves way for a brief spell of Governor's rule in the state which is scheduled to go to polls in October this year.
The resignation comes as a surprise in view of Azad's assertions over past week that he had the required majority in the house.