J-K: No headway in govt formation

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Dec 25, 2014 13:24 IST

Hectic decision-making to form alliances, which was expected as voters threw up a hung assembly, was missing on Wednesday as a large section of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has insisted on leading any coalition government with either the single largest party PDP or even the NC.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on the other hand said it is in no hurry to “cobble together a government by hook or by crook’’.

Sources told Hindustan Times that direct communication is yet to start between the PDP and the BJP, although other insiders said contact has been established through a back channel.

The two parties if together will have the numbers to form the government – the minimum figure required for the 87-member assembly is 44.
The saffron party is insisting on a rotational CM, but wants to be the first have its CM take to work for three years: Jammu Kashmir assembly has a six year term.

The BJP insistence may perhaps be based on support from two MLAs of the People’s Conference, including former separatist Sajad Lone. “If PDP has 28 MLAs, the BJP also has support of two to three other MLAs which makes them an equal contender for the chief minister’s post,” said a BJP leader who did not want to be named.

Like the PDP, which is also considering Congress as its partnet, the BJP also has different views about choosing an alliance partner in Jammu and Kashmir. Sources said the state unit prefers to go with the PDP, while many leaders in New Delhi see the National Conference as a better partner.
“Going with NC will make the BJP a stronger player in the government. They can comfortably form a government,’’ sources said.

BJP grouping with NC might pave way for first BJP CM ever in Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state. However, whether NC, which according to its leaders has fought a “very personal battle” with the BJP in both Lok Sabha and assembly elections, goes ahead with the saffron party or not remains to be seen.

NC’s working president Omar Abdullah will be in Delhi as he plans to travel to London to pay a visit to his parents.
Although Omar Abdullah is not commenting directly on whether he is keen to form the government or not, he is dropping hints of playing an important role. “Incidentally in 2002 Mufti became CM with 16 MLAs & NC with 28 sat in opposition so excuse me if I don't oblige by rolling over to play dead,’’ he tweeted.

Srinagar: Omar Abdullah, who submitted his resgination to the Governor in Jammu on Wednesday, said the reality hit him only when he changed the biodata of his account on Twitter. “You know you are a social media junkie when reality doesn't hit home till you read it on your updated @twitter bio,'' Abdullah tweeted. From “Currently CM of Jammu and Kashmir”, Abdullah changed his profile to “Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir''.

The profile also mentions that Abdullah is an MLA from Beerwah.

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