Independent Legislators to Extend Support to Non-BJP Government
SRINAGAR: With political uncertainty continuing and parleys going on among parties in Jammu and Kashmir over forging alliance and forming coalition government, Governor N N Vohra Friday evening invited two largest parties in the State Assembly -- PDP and BJP -- for discussion on proposal for government formation.
Sources said Governor Vohra this evening invited PDP president Mehbooba Mufti for discussion on proposal for government formation. “The Governor has also sent a separate invitation to J&K BJP chief Jugal Kishore for discussion on government formation in the State, where people have given fractured mandate, leading to hung assembly”.
Both PDP and BJP confirmed that they have received the invitation letters from Governor.
None of the parties in the State have got majority in 87-member J&K Assembly for which elections were held in five-phase. PDP has emerged as single largest party with 28 seats with BJP close second with 25 seats. National Conference and Congress have got 15 and 12 seats respectively. Separatist-turned-mainstream politician Sajjad Lone’s People Conference has won two seats while five independents have also emerged as winners.
BJP have opened communication lines with PDP. BJP vice president and general secretary Ram Madhav met PDP leader and MP Muzaffar Hussain Baig in a local hotel in Srinagar.
“We met different parties here to discuss government formation. We listened to their views and exchanged our own views,” Ram Madhav told reporters here before leaving for New Delhi.
He said no final conclusion has been reached so far.
On talks with PDP leader Muzaffar Baig in Srinagar, yesterday, Madhav said the talks were still at initial stages.
"PDP has emerged as an important stakeholder and got a major mandate. PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has a five-decade long political career and is respected politician. He is not only respected in the state but across the country,” he said.
When asked whether party would like to go with PDP or NC, Madhav said, “It was not about the party. We want to provide a stable and credible government to the State”.
He said he will brief party high command about his deliberations with political leaders in the State.
PDP’s national spokesman Dr Sameer Koul said party is trying to evolve consensus a within the party over the options available to it.
“Members have some different opinions on the options – whether to align with BJP, Congress or NC,” he said adding they are trying to evolve a consensus on a particular option.
There were reports that PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed may visit New Delhi to meet PM Narendra Modi.
However, BJP MP and Incharge J&K Affairs Avinash Khanna told Express that no meeting has been fixed between Modi and Mufti.
Senior Congress leaders including J&K Pradesh Congress committee chief Saif-ud-Din Soz and Ghulam Nabi Azad have been extending their unconditional support to PDP.
“We have got enough numbers, 44, required for majority in the State Assembly. PDP has 28, Congress 12 and we can manage support of four independent legislators,” he had said and urged PDP to go for secular front for government formation.
In a related development, independent legislator and newly elected MLA Langate Engineer Abdul Rashid told media persons today that he is in contact with two other independent legislators of the Valley – Hakeem Yaseen (MLA Khan sahib) and Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami (CPIM MLA) and the trio will support secular and non-BJP coalition alliance in the State.
“I will not be part of any dispensation in the State of which rightwing party BJP, which has anti-Kashmir agenda is part,” he said.
Rashid urged NC and PDP to forge an alliance in the “interest of Kashmir” and for keeping BJP at bay. “The two parties should forge alliance and can forcefully take their autonomy and self rule agendas in the Assembly”.
CPI(M) MLA Tarigami won’t ally with BJP because the party has been opposing saffron party while Hakeem Yaseen has said he is holding deliberations to decide which party to support.