SRINAGAR: With Peoples Democratic Party involved in talks with saffron party BJP for government formation in the State, National Conference Friday again offered its support to PDP in forming a non-BJP government in the State.
"Our offer has been conveyed first by the party working president Omar Abdullah through the public domain, then we issued a statement offering such a support and the support offer has also been conveyed verbally directly to PDP through a trusted intermediary formally. It is on record. It is a serious offer and stands as it is,” NC spokesman Junaid Azim Mattu said.
People in the State have given a fractured mandate with none of the parties getting absolute majority. PDP has emerged as the single-largest party with 28 seats in 87-member J&K Assembly. BJP is close second with 25 seats followed by National Conference and Congress with 15 and 12 seats. Sajjad Lone’s People Conference has won two seats while five independents have also won.
“It is for PDP to approach NC for our support if they choose to seek it. The ball lies in their court, not ours," Mattu said.
An independent legislator from Langate in border district of Kupwara, Engineer Abdur Rashid also put forth demand that NC and PDP should forge an alliance for government formation and keep BJP at bay.
PDP national spokesman Dr Sameer Koul told Express that the party is trying to evolve a consensus on any of three options available with the party, including support from NC.
Reports had been circulated this evening that NC had send a written letter to PDP assuring its support to the party. However, Mattu denied that party has written such a letter.
Omar Abdullah accused PDP of using the NC’s support offer as leverage against BJP.
He tweeted, “Looks like PDP is playing mind games with BJP leaking about a letter of NC support that doesn't exist. Only a verbal offer conveyed.”
"We are not begging PDP to accept our support that we would write letters to them. They are the single largest party and have various options to cobble together a government. They can choose what they want to do. Our offer is one of the options they have. If they want it, they should reciprocate. No letters will be written from NC," NC spokesman said.
Mattu said it is PDP that needs numbers as it has emerged as the single-largest party short of the mark of majority in the Assembly. “If they want our support, they can ask for it formally. Bringing up ridiculous objections to the medium of such an offer of support cannot be PDP's alibi for not coming up with a clear, unambiguous response. The ball continues to lie in their court.”
“We continue to hope that PDP will respond in a clear, unambiguous manner,” he said.
Mattu questioned whether PDP sought a letter of support from BJP before authorizing their leader and MP Muzaffar Baig to enter into talks with BJP.
On Thursday Omar Abdullah had denied having struck a deal with BJP or was having any discussion with saffron party over the government formation in the State.
Political observers said NC’s offer of support to PDP in government formation is just to embarrass PDP.