The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday dropped broad hints at not forming government with the National Conference (NC), a day after NC working president Omar Abdullah offered a written support through a letter delivered to governor NN Vohra.
The PDP top leaders went into huddle both in Srinagar and Jammu after Abdullah's political master stroke aimed at reclaiming the party image and political position in J-K where it came down from 28 seats in 2008 to 15 seats in 2014.
"We are not giving NC a chance to come to power through backdoor despite the fact that people voted against them and defeated it," PDP spokesman Naeem Akhtar told the Hindustan Times. "We will not allow them to turn their defeat into a victory," he added.
However, the NC said it offered outside support and was not interested in being part of the government. "If we were interested in being part of a government in J&K, we could have aligned with the BJP as it was an option readily available to NC after the election results came out. But unlike PDP, we are guided by guiding principles and a political ideology that is rooted in the aspirations and sentiments of our people," said NC general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar.
Another top PDP leader, on the condition of anonymity, said, "Akhaday ke do pahalwan haath nahi mila sakhtay (fighting players in a ring can't join hands). We have seen that any such handshakes have given birth to third unwanted entity in the past."
The statement has almost drawn curtain on any chances of coalition between NC and PDP, fuelling chances of PDP nearing BJP for a government formation. Both PDP and BJP have highest number of seats 28 and 25 in the 87-member assembly. Any party requires 44 members to form the government.
Even separatist-turned-mainstream political Sajad Lone, who heads People's Conference, took a pot shot at the NC offer. "Expectation of ideological lottery when PDP decline the surreal PDP-NC alliance is stretching it a bit too far. No lotteries in offer," wrote Lone on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Congress has also reiterated its support for the PDP. "It has in the past too rejected NC offer but our offer stands for the PDP," said Congress spokesman Salman Soz.
Since December 23, Jammu and Kashmir remains without a government, followed by a governor's rule, after both BJP, PDP fail to come up with coalition partners. Sources say a breakthrough is likely after the Delhi polls.