SRINAGAR: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which has emerged as single largest party in the 87-member J&K Assembly with 28 members, has said the mandate of people would be respected and government formation in the State will take time.
“The mandate given by the people to PDP to represent the political aspirations and economic interests of all the regions and sub-regions of Jammu and Kashmir would be represented and valued in adequate measure,” PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said in her first comment on the fractured mandate of electorate in the State.
She said as responsible political party, PDP will take not only its cadres but the people of the State on board before arriving on any decision regarding the future course of action on government formation.
The electorate in the State has given a fractured mandate with none of the parties getting absolute majority. PDP has emerged as 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 respectively. Sajjad Lone’s People Conference has won two seats while five independents have also won.
In a related development, PDP chief spokesman Nayeem Akhtar said government formation in the State will take some time.
“It is a complex issue,” he said adding in other states of the country parties would cobble up government with their ideological enemies but J&K can’t sustain such selfish politics.
Akhtar admitted that party is involved in talks with the saffron party but said these were “informal talks”.
PDP’s senior leader and MP Muzaffar Hussain Baig on Thursday held talks with BJP’s vice president and general secretary Ram Madhav on government formation.
The two parties have not made public what was discussed during the meeting but sources said PDP told BJP that can align with the party on five conditions—Mufti Sayeed as CM for six years, respect for Self-Rule proposal (softening of borders), revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from peaceful areas, strengthening of Article 370 and comprehensive relief package for flood hit people of Kashmir.
Akhtar said all options to PDP are open and party is in driver’s seat. “We are considering every offer with regard and respect. We are analyzing each option carefully and in detail”.
“We should be able to form the government by not compromising on our agenda and key issues,” Akhtar said.
He said people need government and PDP needs ability to deliver on the developmental front. “We need resources for carrying forward development of the State”.
Meanwhile, sources in PDP said there is division in the party over alliance with BJP. “Some members and leaders are totally opposed to it and want party to go for arrangement with Congress and independents”.