Madhav Meets Baig as Alliance Talks in Jammu and Kashmir Gather Steam

Published: 26th December 2014 06:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th December 2014 06:04 AM   |  A+A-

SRINAGAR: Hours after the Jammu and Kashmir BJP unit authorised party president Amit Shah and the central leadership to take a final call on forming a coalition government with any of the two regional parties in the State, senior party leader Ram Madhav met a top PDP leader and MP in the Valley on Thursday evening, in the first official sign between the two parties on forging an alliance.

Sources said BJP vice president and general secretary Ram Madhav, accompanied by party leaders, called on senior PDP leader and MP Muzaffar Hussain Baig at Hotel Grand Palace here. “Madhav and Baig discussed the government formation after the fractured mandate in the recently Assembly elections,” said a source.

The meeting lasted for more than an hour. Before the meeting, Baig had suggested to party leaders that Mufti Mohammad Sayeed should meet PM Narendra Modi on government formation. “Before making his suggestion public, Baig may have talked to some BJP leaders,” said the source.

BJP MP and in-charge of J&K affairs Avinash Khanna told Express that they are hopeful that the process will be completed soon.

Before meeting Baig, Madhav held a meeting with separatist-turned-mainstream politician and Peoples Conference chairman Sajjad Gani Lone at his residence here. “The BJP leaders sought Sajjad’s views on which of the two parties — PDP and NC — he would prefer,” said a source. Sajjad won the election from Handwara, while another of his party member won from Kupwara constituency.

With two seats in its kitty, Peoples Conference has emerged as a key player in government formation. If Sajjad aligns with PDP, then the party can easily form the government with the support of Congress and three independent legislators. However, Sajjad is close to BJP as he had earlier met Modi in Delhi and held discussions on forging a post-poll alliance and described Modi as his elder brother. Earlier, BJP’s newly elected 25 legislators authorised Shah and the top leadership to decide on the government formation.

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