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BJP leaders meet J&K Governor as fate of next government still unclear

Dec 30, 2014 12:53 PM IST Politics Politics
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Srinagar: With Jammu and Kashmir yet to get a government even a week after Assembly elections results threw up a hung verdict, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Ram Madhav and state unit chief Jugal Kishore met Governor NN Vohra on Tuesday. The BJP seems to have hardened its stand and sources say the party is now adamant on having its own chief minister in the state.

BJP with 25 MLAs is the second largest party in Jammu and Kashmir and needs another 19 to reach the halfway mark of 44 in the 87-member Assembly. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has 28 MLAs, followed by National Conference (15), Congress (12) and seven legislators from smaller parties and independents.

Earlier PDP partiarch Mufti Mohammad Sayeed suggested his party form a grand alliance in the state involving the BJP and the Congress. Sayeed feels such an alliance will be representative of the three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

While the PDP claims the BJP is open to the idea, but the Congress is against it. The PDP has already rejected the National Conference's support for government formation.

"If any party joins BJP to form government, it will be an injustice to the sentiment of the people of Kashmir. People have voted against the BJP. If PDP, Congress and NC come together, government can be formed and the BJP can be kept out. If PDP or NC forms an alliance with BJP, people won't forgive them," Congress leader Rashid Alvi said.

"If any party joins BJP to form government, it will be an injustice to the sentiment of the people of Kashmir. People have voted against the BJP. If PDP, Congress and NC come together, government can be formed and the BJP can be kept out. If PDP or NC forms an alliance with BJP, people won't forgive them," Congress leader Rashid Alvi said.

Making a bid for getting into power for the first time in the Muslim-majority state, BJP has held talks with both the PDP as well as the NC, which has verbally promised its support to keep out the saffron party.

Meanwhile, PDP has also suggested an alliance with its arch rival National Conference and the Congress with PDP chief spokesman Naeem Akthar saying the tie up is also "also an option" to form a stable government. There are also speculations on whether this is a tactic by the PDP to put pressure over the tough conditions that it has laid before the BJP.

In a bid to clarify its stand, the PDP has declared that its stand against revocation of Article 370 was "non-negotiable". "We have also made it clear that AFSPA should be withdrawn where it is not needed following improvement in the situation," Naeem Akhtar said.

PDP President Mehbooba Mufti is slated to meet Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra on Wednesday for discussing government formation. "The meeting of Mehbooba Mufti, Member of Parliament and President of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with the Governor has been advanced to take place on Wednesday at the Raj Bhavan in Jammu," a Raj Bhavan spokesman said.

Vohra had on Friday invited Mehbooba and BJP state unit president Jugal Kishore Sharma for separate meetings to hold discussion on formation of government in the state.

PDP, which is holding intra-party discussions on possible alliances to form the next government in the state, has asked its newly-elected MLAs to go back to their constituencies for getting feedback from their constituents. Sources said the PDP patron wants to build a consensus within the party before Mehbooba Mufti meets the Governor.