SRI NAGAR: The ruling National Conference (NC) in Jammu and Kashmir has ruled out any pact with the NDA in the wake of pollsters predicting victory for the BJP-led alliance in the Lok Sabha polls, while the Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) expressed willingness to work with the new dispensation in New Delhi.
The elections in J&K were closely fought and the NC, Congress and PDP leaders had to campaign vigorously in their constituencies. While there was a Modi wave in the Jammu province, where two seats witnessed record high turnout, the NC had to battle anti-incumbency factor on three seats in Kashmir.
According to political observers, for the first time no clear winners could be predicted after the polls. “It cannot be said with certainty whether Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, NC chief Farooq Abdullah and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti will emerge winners,” they said. Of the six Lok Sabha seats in the state, the Congress-NC alliance, as per the exit polls, might win two-three seats, while the BJP and PDP stand to gain in one or two seats, respectively, or vice versa.
Almost all exit polls predicted victory for the BJP-led NDA.
The NC, which in alliance with the Congress campaigned against Modi, reiterated that it won’t ally with the BJP or Modi-led government. “We will not join the BJP-led government in New Delhi. We have fought the polls with the Congress and will be part of the UPA,” NC’s provincial president (Kashmir) Nasir Aslam Wani said and stressed that there was no question of his party leaving the UPA.
Mustafa Kamal, senior NC leader and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s uncle, while ruling out any pact with the BJP said the party would be looking for a cordial relation with the new government at the Centre.
Meanwhile, the PDP is keeping its options open for a role at the Centre. “We are not bothered about who takes charge in New Delhi. We are of the view that we have to engage with everybody in Delhi to build a consensus on Kashmir,” PDP spokesperson Naeem Akhtar said. He, however, made it clear that his party was not looking for any ministerial berths as has been the case with the NC, which always sought ministerial berths for its chief Farooq Abdullah or his son Omar. “Our aim is to give best representation to the people of the state in Parliament. For that we will cooperate with anybody,” Akhtar said, adding that Kashmir was a national issue and has to be addressed at national level. He said the PDP wanted the new Central government to take measures to institutionalise democracy in the state, allow fair play and ensure justice to all.