A PDP-Congress alliance seems unlikely in view of the fact that neither of the parties has an MLA to represent the Hindu heartland in Jammu. All Hindu candidates of the Congress lost the election and for the first time the party (with 12 seats) doesn’t have any Hindu MLA.
The state has a Hindu population of 35%, but in Jammu division Hindus form a majority of 65%. The Hindu heartland MLAs have been in the government, many holding ministerial berths, since 2002.
In 1996 Farooq Abdullahled NC government had three elected Hindus from the Jammu region and in 1983 it had one Hindu MLC.
After PDP came into existence and subsequently to power in 2002, the region was vertically divided benefitting the Congress which took up Jammu as its base. In the outgoing government, the Congress had four Hindu ministers, including the deputy chief minister Tara Chand.
The Hindus of Jamm u have grown a sense of political participation since 2002, a fact acknowledged by the PDP itself. It’s for this reason PDP spokesperson Naeem Akhar said focus should be on strengthening Jammu- Srinagar axis more, signifying that the two communities have to come together politically also.
The BJP representing the aspirations of the Hindu heartland is crucial for the government formation, and if it loses the chance the saffron party might face the wrath of the people in Jammu. On the other hand, the NC has two elected Hindus from the Jammu region and it has worked to its favour.