As Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections returned a fractured verdict, back-channel talks have begun between National Conference and Congress for formation of a coalition government in the state.
Leaders of NC and Congress have started initial discussions on the possibility of forging an alliance as such an arrangement would best serve the interests of both the parties and the state, NC sources said.
National Conference President Omar Abdullah, who is seen as a prospective Chief Minister, said earlier in the day that the NC will approach the Congress, which is a like-minded party, to form the government.
Asked as to whom the NC would like to see as a coalition partner, Omar, 38, said "personally, I will prefer to have an alliance with the Congress."
The bitter experience of Congress of having an alliance with PDP in the last coalition government may also push the national party to go with the NC, sources said.
"Personally, I feel that an NC-Congress alliance will be more compatible. This is my personal view," senior Congress leader Karan Singh said.
Omar said after getting the final results and the status of the single largest party, the NC would stake claim to form the government and "formally begin the process of talks (for forging alliance)".