The fast-paced political developments in Jammu and Kashmir reached a climax on Wednesday night when Governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the state assembly after former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Sajad Lone, both staked claims to the government.
However, amid the political play out, the fax machine at the Raj Bhavan in Jammu emerged a stand-out character, becoming the source of comic relief during the tense political manoeuvrings.
As Mufti decided to present her case for government formation claiming support of 56 MLAs, the PDP leader had trouble communicating her message to the Governor.
Ostensibly, as Mufti was in Srinagar, and after the darbar move last month, the administration shifted to Jammu for the winter season, the PDP president decided to fax her claim to the Raj Bhavan, only to be left bemused as her fax was not received, triggering speculation that the machine at the Governor's residence was either broken or in deliberate no answer mode .
Mufti claimed that she tried to reach the Governor on the phone, but alas, the Governor continued to remain incommunicado.
Finally, the former CM decided to stake her claim through less traditional means and announced on Twitter that she had e-mailed her letter to the Governor.
Sending the letter also by mail https://t.co/116mpfOrpo— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) November 21, 2018
Meanwhile, Sajad Lone, who was putting together a front comprising rebel PDP MLA besides his own party's two MLAs, and tacit support from the BJP, also jumped in and pushed his claim to the government by sending the letter to the Governor's PA by WhatsApp, no less. He posted a screenshot of the same on Twitter.
As the political climax reached its peak with the Governor entertaining neither of the claims and dissolving the state Assembly, by that time, the fax machine had already emerged as a potent meme churning subject material.
People across social media started chipping in-jokes and memes, trying to put across witty takes on the state's politics with the fax machine as a central character.
In fact, late into the night, former CM Omar Abdullah also decided to join the fray, tweeting that the Raj Bhawan is in need of a new fax machine.
Later, he also posted a GIF on Twitter, with the caption reading "Raj Bhavan Jammu fax machine at work."
Raj Bhavan Jammu fax machine at work ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ pic.twitter.com/RyLOhvQinc— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) November 21, 2018
Surprisingly, Mufti decided to join in on the fun and commented on his tweet with a photo of a skeleton, with the caption reading "Meanwhile those awaiting a response."
Meanwhile those awaiting a response. pic.twitter.com/Q4OM7rFfvB— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) November 21, 2018
The governor, however, in an interview to a news channel claimed that due to the holiday of Eid-e-Milad falling on Wednesday, no employee was there to attend to the fax machine.
However, this response did not seem satisfactory to many observers including Mufti, who pointed out that the Governor's recommendation for dissolving the Assembly was communicated by fax only.
Oh. But the office magically opened on Eid to send a recommendation to centre for dissolving the assembly and then for notifying its dissolution. Badhiya hai. https://t.co/BtmV4j7Pf0— Sushant Singh (@SushantSin) November 22, 2018
PS - In todays age of technology, it is very strange that the fax machine at HE Governor’s residence didn’t receive our fax but swiftly issued one regarding the assembly dissolution. ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ¤ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ4/4— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) November 21, 2018
Others on social media also had hot takes and sharp puns on the supposed non-functioning of Raj Bhavan fax machine.
With the governor's much hyped fight against corruption , the fax machine of Raj bhavan should be first on his list. ;)— Fahad Ali Khan (@ali_fahadkhan) November 21, 2018
Madam, this is to inform you that the governor's fax machine has been repaired. I just received a fax from Raj Bhawan. pic.twitter.com/8gsuOLlLhr— Hamad (@_hamadshah) November 21, 2018
#Kashmir #Mahagathbandhan— Haider Ali Punjabi (@HAliPunjabi) November 21, 2018
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