SRINAGAR: The PDP and the BJP are yet to begin formal talks to cobble up an alliance to form the next government in Jammu and Kashmir.
PDP chief spokesman Naeem Akhtar said formal talks between his party and the BJP have not started yet. “Only the informal talks between the two parties are going on,” he said.
The two parties have been engaged in back-channel talks since the declaration of the Assembly election results on December 23.
The PDP, with 28 seats in the 87-member J&K Assembly, emerged as the single largest party and the BJP, with 25 seats, finished a close second.
The National Conference (NC) and the Congress had secured 15 and 12 seats respectively while the smaller parties and independents won seven seats.
Akhtar said the government formation in the state will take some time as both the parties subscribed to different ideologies.
“It will take time to reach a common ground,” he said. The state has been under Governor’s rule since January 8 after Omar Abdullah decided to step down as caretaker Chief Minister after the PDP-BJP talks made little headway.
A senior Jammu and Kashmir BJP leader also said that the informal talks between the two parties were on. “The parties are trying to bridge the gap on key issues to evolve a common minimum programme for government formation,” he said.
BJP national spokesperson Nalin Kohli told Express that government formation in the state was the saffron party’s top priority. He said the stand of both the parties (the BJP and thePDP) on key issues were very clear.
“It will take time for the two parties to arrive at a common ground,” Kohli said.
“For a long lasting relationship between the two parties, a lot of work is needed,” Kohli said.
Expressing the hope that a government would be formed in the state soon, the BJP national spokesperson said, “People in the state have braved bullets and separatists’ boycott call and voted in large numbers.”