SRINAGAR: The formation of next government in Jammu and Kashmir, where no partty could gain absolute majority, will take some time even as the PDP and the BJP have opened back channel “communication lines”.
The PDP with 28 seats in the 87-member J&K Assembly is followed by the BJP with 25 seats. The NC and the Congress have won 15 and 12 seats respectively.
Two independents, supported by the NC, have won from Udhampur and Zanskar while Sajjad Lone’s People’s Conference has also won two seats.
Sources said the BJP and the PDP had opened communication lines on Tuesday after the election results. “Communication lines have been opened,” said BJP MP and J&K incharge Avinash Khanna. He, however, refused to say whether the communication lines have been opened with the PDP or the NC. Khanna said senior party leader and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will be visiting the state before Sunday with state party leaders to decide on government formation.Sources said the PDP leadership also has been holding discussions on government formation and seeking views from party leaders and newly elected members.
Sources said the two parties are discussing issues such as rotational CM, the BJP’s stand on Article 370 and the PDP’s self-rule agenda. State BJP president Jugal Kishore told reporters in Jammu on Wednesday that next Chief Minister will be from the BJP.
Political observers said this may be a pressure tactics to persuade PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who is seen as a chief ministerial candidate.
Some BJP leaders in J&K, according to party sources, want a tie-up with the NC as they feel the party has been weakened and cannot dictate terms to them.
Omar Abdullah, who resigned as J&K Chief Minister on Wednesday was asked to continue by Governor till a new government takes over, said onus of forming government in the state lies on the PDP and the BJP.
He did not rule out supporting either the BJP or the PDP in to form government. “I am not going to visit Mufti’s residence (to offer support). BJP president Amit Shah has not called,” he said adding he was not in any mood to make it easy for other parties to form a government. It is neither the duty of the NC to form the government nor is it our duty to help anyone to form it.”