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Govt in J&K Soon? Ex-Deputy CM Kavinder Gupta Confirms Emergence of New BJP-Leaning Front

Kavinder Gupta's statements come after speculation that Sajjad Lone was to head such a front.

Suhas Munshi | News18.com

Updated:July 3, 2018, 12:48 PM IST

New Delhi: In what may be the first confirmation of a front of rebel PDP MLAs emerging in Jammu and Kashmir to support the BJP, senior party leader and former deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta told News18 that "dissatisfied MLAs" from various parties are likely to come together in the coming days.

"In the coming days, I see dissatisfied MLAs not just from PDP, but also from Congress and National Conference, are likely to join forces and form a new front," Gupta said.

Gupta's statements come after speculation that Sajjad Lone, with whom BJP general secretary and party in-charge of J&K Ram Madhav met on June 27, was to head such a front.

Reacting to questions on PDP members like Imran Raza Ansari and Abid Ansari, who have spoken out against Mehbooba Mufti, were being broken away by the BJP, Gupta said the MLAs were dissatisfied with their party leadership and could come together to form a new front.

Five PDP MLAs have spoken out against their party leadership since Sunday, blaming Mehbooba Mufti for nepotism and claiming to feel "suffocated" under her leadership.

A PD leader, however, said the party is not mulling any immediate action. "We are monitoring the statements and situation. Those who want to leave the party are welcome to do so," the senior leader said on condition of anonymity.

News18 reported on Monday that the BJP was looking to form the government in J&K and a big announcement was likely to be made after the conclusion of Amarnath Yatra.

A chain of events has been unfolding in the state since June 19 when the BJP pulled out of the government.

On June 27, Ram Madhav uploaded a photo of himself with several other party MLAs at Sajjad Lone's house. Lone is the leader of People's Conference, which has two MLAs, including himself, in the state. Since the photo was released, rumours have been going around of Sajjad Lone being named as the chief of a new political front.

On July 1, Pattan MLA Imran Raza Ansari, former minister in the state cabinet and an influential Shia leader, spoke against Mehbooba Mufti in a rally and blamed her for pushing her family's interests before the party's. He is said to have a strong influence over four constituencies.

Four other MLAs, including his relative, Abid Ansari, MLA from Zadibal consitutency in Hazratbal, also speak out. Interestingly, Sajjad Lone is said to be close to the Ansaris.

The BJP has 25 MLAs in the 87-member Assembly. To form a government, it would need 19 more members. “Dissatisfied MLAs" from the PDP, which has 28 MLAs, may contribute to this number.

| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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