SRI NAGAR: The BJP on Sunday said it was in touch with several PDP legislators who were in favour of forming a coalition government in Jammu & Kashmir, but added it wouldn’t accept new conditions for alliance put forth by Mehbooba Mufti.
“Several PDP legislators who are in favor of the formation of the government in the State and who also don’t want midterm polls are in touch with the BJP leadership for the formation of a government,” BJP legislator Ravinder Raina said.
He said the BJP had “several options” to form a government in the State if the alliance with PDP falls aprat, but would disclose them only “when the time comes”. Asked whether the BJP would encourage defection within the PDP, he said that his party would do no such thing.
Having returned empty-handed from the national capital following the failure of her talks with the BJP president, PDP chief Mehbooba will convene a meeting of party leaders within a week to chalk out the party’s future strategy on government formation in the State.
“Mehbooba has not convened any party meeting yet. But she will call a meeting of senior party leaders within a week to discuss the ‘dead end’ on government formation talks with the BJP,” a source in the PDP said.
The source said the meeting would be convened as soon as the party’s all senior leaders arrived here. “Some of the leaders are presently in New Delhi and Jammu. Once they reach Srinagar, Mehbooba will convene a meeting,” the source said.
The source also said Mehbooba would apprise party leaders of what she discussed with Amit Shah and other BJP leaders during her stay in New Delhi and what led to the failure of the talks.
The PDP chief held a meeting with independent legislator Er Sheikh Abdur Rashid at her residence on Sunday. Rashid is a votary of forming a grand alliance of “secular parties” to keep the BJP away from power.
After the talks, BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav told reporters that the saffron party was not ready to form a government on the basis of conditions and said the coalition government should take over from where Mehbooba’s father Mufti Sayeed had left.