Deadlock Continues As PDP, BJP Scramble to Get Numbers

SRINAGAR: There were no signs of either the PDP, the largest group, or the BJP, the close runner-up, getting the requisite numbers to stake claim to forming a new government in Jammu and Kashmir as the deadline set by Governor NN Vohra for discussions fast approached.

A team of the PDP, which has 28 MLAs in a House of 87, led by its president Mehbooba Mufti will meet Vohra in Jammu on Wednesday and discuss with him government formation while the BJP is expected to give its proposal on January 1.

Ahead of the meeting, PDP spokesperson Naeem Akhthar told PTI that the party was not ready with any solution “as yet” to end the political stalemate and all options were still on the table for it.

“We are not ready with any solution as yet. It’s a very difficult situation and we are trying our best to convert this into an opportunity for the welfare of the State, its economic development and ending political uncertainty about it,” he said.

In the middle of continuing political uncertainty, rumours were agog in the Kashmir Valley that the 15-member National Conference legislature party has passed a resolution supporting the PDP, which was denied by NC general secretary Ali Mohammed Sagar. 

We have verbally stated to PDP that in case they want our support, they should talk to our leadership,” he said.

The PDP is holding intra-party discussions on possible alliances which the party can enter to form the next government in the State.

Meanwhile, PDP patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed was holding consultations with his MLAs and workers. “Sayeed continued consultations with the party rank and file,” Akhtar said.

He said the PDP patron has been meeting party leaders, newly-elected legislators, senior workers and some of the members of civil society in a bid to shape the party’s response to the challenge thrown up by the fractured verdict.

On the other hand, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav along with State unit president Jugal Kishore on Tuesday called on the Governor and discussed the current political situation in the State.

After the meeting, which lasted barely for 15 minutes, Kishore told reporters that the BJP, which has 25 MLAs, will submit a formal proposal to the Governor on January 1.

Asked about the PDP’s reported ‘grand alliance’ plan with the Congress and the NC, Sharma said, “Though I am not aware of any such alliance, if any such alliance is formed then it would be a betrayal of the people of State as BJP has got the maximum share of votes in the elections”.

Later in the day, State Congress president Saifuddin Soz also called on the Governor to discuss government formation. Congress got 12 seats in the elections.

Soz issued a statement earlier in the day cautioning the PDP against forging an alliance with the BJP and hoped Sayeed, the PDP patron, would take a decision that best suits the “current political consensus” that has evolved in the State.

“Personally speaking, I will only like to caution Sayeed on the dangers of a minuscule minority here (in Kashmir) who suggest development plank for seeking special favour from the ruling class in Delhi, if PDP decides to forge an alliance with the BJP.

People’s Conference, which has two members in the new Assembly, showed a preference for a BJP-led government.

“We are open to supporting any stable government in the state. There should be no uncertainty about the future of the government, whichever coalition comes up in the coming days,” party leader Sajad Lone told PTI.

“The BJP is ruling at the Centre …. so a combination which has BJP as part of it, will be beneficial for the state in terms of expediting the development works in the state,” he said.

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