Political parties remained cagey Wednesday on their plans to reach out to each other to cobble together a government in Jammu and Kashmir, where results declared a day earlier threw up a fractured mandate.
All eyes remain on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the two strongest outfits after Tuesday’s results.
BJP sources said the party, which has 25 seats compared to PDP’s 28, will insist one of its own be made the chief minister – a demand unlikely to be met if the two decide to come together.
“If PDP has 28, BJP too has support of two to three other MLAs which makes them an equal contender for the CM’s post,’’ a source said.
Similarly, National Conference and the Congress too did not make any announcement on their plans.
“We have made a gesture of support to the PDP about us open to extending support to them if they approach us... The onus lies on them”, a PDP spokesperson said in Srinagar.
The BJP may settle on sharing the CM’s seat on a three-year basis but wants to be the first one to lead the government.
According to sources, direct communication between PDP and BJP is yet to start between, although back channel parleys have begun.
While state BJP sources say they prefers Mufti’s partnership, many in Delhi think their arch-rival National Conference could be a better option as far as chief ministerial ambitions are concerned.
“Going with NC will make the BJP a stronger player in the government. BJP has support of some independents, NC has some independents on their side. They can comfortably form a government,’’ a party source said.
The truck with NC might pave way for first the BJP CM in India’s only Muslim Majority state.
Whether National conference comes together with BJP after fighting a “very personal battle’’ with the saffron party in both Lok Sabha and assembly elections remains to be seen.