The National Conference (NC) on Tuesday wrote to the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) governor offering support to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to form the next government after a highly-polarised election delivered a hung verdict last month.
J&K was put under governor’s rule as the PDP and BJP failed to stitch together an alliance after emerging as the two largest parties in India’s only Muslim-majority state following the five-phase assembly polls.
NC leader Omar Abdullah said his party decided in a core group meeting to not back the BJP and extend support to the PDP.
“@JKNC_has written to Governor Vohra Sahib reiterating our offer of support to @jkpdp and asking him to call us before deciding the assembly viability,” the former chief minister tweeted.
While the PDP picked up 28 seats in the 87-member assembly, the BJP bagged 25 — the party’s best showing in the state following a high-pitched campaign led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi but way short of simple majority. The National Conference and Congress, allies in the previous government, won 15 and 12 seats respectively.
“We are planning a meeting of the PAC (Political Affairs Committee) and will respond officially after that. We want the best deal for the people of the state through this government formation. All options are open right now,” PDP spokesperson Naeem Akhtar told HT.
The PDP and BJP have critical ideological differences over issues like dialogue with Pakistan and Article 370 of the Constitution that lends Jammu and Kashmir a measure of autonomy.
Analysts say the BJP is biding its time in the state with its eyes on next month’s crucial Delhi polls and the NC sees a window of opportunity to form a non-BJP government in J&K.
“It is interesting that the NC is in a hurry to form government in the state despite their rout in the polls,” said Akhtar.