A day after voters threw up a hung assembly in Jammu and Kashmir, the movement on government formation remained slow as a dominant section in the state BJP is adamant on leading the coalition.
The BJP parliamentary board extensively deliberated on the issue at its meeting which was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Having secured 25 seats and banking on the support of Sajjad Lone’s Peoples Conference, the BJP is finding itself in the driver’s seat and has the option of going with either the National Conference (NC) or the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
But BJP sources in Delhi indicated that the party would be “more comfortable” with the NC which had earlier been a part of the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee in comparison to the PDP which has the highest 28 seats.
The party is also firm that there would be no compromise on the aspirations of the Jammu region.
But it remains to be seen if the NC with 15 seats would be prepared to play the second fiddle to the BJP and agree on having a chief minister from the saffron party or from the Jammu region.
In its bid to outsmart the BJP, the NC once again made an offer of support to the PDP for forming the next government in the state.
“We have made a gesture of support to the PDP about considering extending support to them if they approach us,” NC spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu said.
The move was widely seen as the NC’s pressure tactics to force the BJP to accept its terms and conditions for cementing an alliance.
On its part, the Congress has no other option to support the PDP and keep the BJP at bay.
PDP sources in Srinagar said that there was no direct communication with the BJP yet.
The party appears to be divided on the issue of forging an alliance with the BJP as a section feels that any such move would amount to conceding political space to the saffron party in the Kashmir valley but another insisting that the two parties would act as a bridge between Hindu-dominated Jammu and Muslim majority Kashmir.