After a nine-day impasse, the first signs of government formation efforts in Jammu and Kashmir emerged on Saturday with PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti calling a meeting of senior leaders on Sunday while opposition National Conference expressed readiness to consider a tie-up with BJP.
The meeting of the ‘extended core group’ of PDP will be the first formal confabulations that Mehbooba will have on government formation within the party, after playing the guessing game ever since the sudden death of her father and then chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on January 7.
“The PDP president has convened a meeting of the extended core group of the party tomorrow at her residence in the afternoon,” a senior PDP leader told PTI.
He said those invited to the meeting include the party MPs, former ministers, and the senior party office bearers.
The state has been under president’s rule since January 9 as neither PDP nor BJP staked claimed for forming the government.
The meeting has been called in the backdrop of reports that Mehbooba is unhappy over a variety of issues with BJP, a party with which Mufti ran a coalition government for 10 months after tying up following a hung verdict in assembly elections.
The issues believed to be nagging the PDP leadership range from Sayeed not being given proper respect when he passed away in Delhi on January 7 to meagre flow of funds from the Centre to the state, which is now under a spell of governor’s rule.
In the 87-member Assembly, PDP has 27 MLAs while BJP has 25 legislators.
As uncertainty loomed large over the continuance of PDP-BJP alliance, National Conference (NC) leader Farooq Abdullah said on Saturday his party is ready to consider a tie-up with the BJP for government formation if such an offer is received.
“If such a proposal comes, then NC will call a Working Committee (meeting) and debate over it. If such a situation arises, NC can think over it as we have not closed the doors. Our doors are open,” he told reporters in Jammu.
The patron of the 15-member NC was responding to questions on NC’s stand if it gets a proposal from BJP for forming a coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir. Abdullah, whose party had earlier been a part of NDA, said, “NC never shies away from its role. In 1996 when nobody was ready for election, we came forward.”
The former chief minister said, “..uncertainty is not good for the state and the situation would benefit our enemies.” While attacking PDP, he added, “Uncertainty has been created by PDP as BJP is ready to form the government and God knows what PDP is thinking, I hope they end this and the government would continue.”