In its bid to end the stalemate on government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is trying to evolve a consensus within the party on having a broad-based alliance with the BJP.
The party has been vertically divided on the issue with some leaders voicing their concerns on joining hands with the BJP and others favouring an alliance with the saffron party on the grounds that there should be greater coordination between the Centre and the state for its overall development. The party top brass has now called a meeting of its leaders and office bearers on January 24 in Jammu to elicit their views on government formation.
All options – whether to go with the BJP or accept the unconditional support offered by the Congress – will be discussed threadbare. The PDP has already rejected the support offer from the National Conference (NC), arguing that the recent vote was against Omar Abdullah’s party.
Having held a series of informal talks with the BJP so far, the PDP could initiate a structured dialogue after getting the go-ahead at Saturday’s deliberations.
The will also discuss the February 7 Rajya Sabha elections on four seats from the state. PDP sources told HT that the names of former MP Mehboob Beg and PDP national spokesperson Dr Sameer Kaul are on the top of the party’s list of aspirants.
With the term of leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad coming to an end next month, the Congress has stepped up its back channel negotiations with the National Conference and independents to ensure his return to the upper house. At the meeting, the PDP will also elect its new president with Anantnag MP Mehbooba Mufti all set to retain her post.