Jammu and Kashmir Governor Girish Chandra Saxena is hopeful that a popular government will be quickly formed in the state, even as the two key players - Congress and PDP - are set to hold crucial talks today to break the deadlock on government formation.
The PDP Chief Mufti Mohammed Sayeed is to meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi in what is described as make or break talks to resolve their differences, especially on the sticky issue of Chief Ministership.
Ahead of the talks, Saxena said in Srinagar it will be good for the state to have a popular government as soon as possible.
"I am hopeful that a government would be formed quickly," Saxena told a TV channel. The Congress and the PDP, with 20 and 16 seats respectively, are eight short of the half way mark but they face no hurdles in forming a coalition because of support of the seven-member Democratic People's Forum (DPF).
Both the parties will put their proposals on the table to resolve the issue of Chief Ministership, which is the major stumbling block in their coming together. One proposal includes the two parties sharing the Chief Ministership for a three-year term each but here too there are sharp differences over who will assume the reins for the first three years.
The talks are taking place after Gandhi decided on Tuesday to give "one more attempt" to reopen the floundering dialogue after PDP vice-president Mehbooba Mufti telephonically pressed for more negotiations.
Saxena also said he will have to consider appointment of his advisers if there is delay in formation of a government. "At some stage, I will have to take a decision on appointment of advisers if there is a delay (in government formation)," he said.
The governor has not appointed any advisers so far in the hope that a popular government would be formed soon.
To a question, Saxena said the state administration will spare no efforts in combating militancy in the state.
The head of the seven-member DPF, M Y Tarigami of the CPI-M, said the mandate of the people in J&K is for a coalition government and was optimistic that Congress and the PDP will hammer out a solution.