Even after the People's Democratic Party (PDP) hinted at forming an alliance with the BJP, the government formation remained elusive on Thursday as the saffron party sought more time from the governor NN Vohra.
The Bharatiya Janata Party's state president Jugal Kishore Sharma, who met Vohra in Jammu a day after the governor's meeting with PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, told reporters his party needed more time to talk to possible allies.
"We do not want to cobble up any alliance in haste so we need more time. We have to take the talks to a logical conclusion to install a stable government in J&K. As soon as we arrive at some decision we will convey it to the Governor and the people," he said.
However, Sharma refused to disclose whom his party was negotiating with, apart from the single largest PDP whose leaders are known to have talked to the BJP leadership, although formal dialogue is yet to begin.
"Wait for while, it will be known to everyone," Sharma added.
Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday evoked former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and said the mandate to the BJP in the state was both a challenge and an opportunity for the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She said Modi's dream of development in the state, particularly the Valley, would not be fulfilled unless he followed in Vajpayee's footsteps.
Her comments were seen as an assertion that the PDP is not averse to the BHJP, but would want an assurance that contentious issues like AFSPA and Article 370 won't be touched for alliance to be formed.
Meanwhile, the BJP's state incharge, Avinash Rai Khanna said his party has sought time to ensure that a government that can deliver peace and development in the state.
"When we will sit and discussions will be held the common minimum programme can be formed…it happens in coalition…BJP is well versed with running coalition governments and discharge the coalition 'dharma'," he said when asked whether an alliance is caught up in the issue of the chief minister's post.
Apart from Khanna and Sharma, the BJP delegation that met the Governor included Ashok Khajuria, legislators Nirmal Singh, Sukhnandan Choudhary, Sham Choudhary, Kavinder Gupta and Lal Singh.