Day after PDP feeler, BJP softens tone on JK alliance

Day after PDP feeler, BJP softens tone on JK alliance

Pertinently, the Assembly elections threw up a hung verdict with PDP emerging as single-largest party with 28 seats in the 87-member House, followed by BJP with 25 seats.

The government formation in Jammu Kashmir may take more time as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday sought more time from Governor NN Vohra to “shape up a stable coalition.”

“We have sought more time from the Governor to submit our proposal (on government formation) since our formal talks with the other party has just started,” BJP’s state president and MP Jugal Kishore Sharma told journalists outside Raj Bhawan, after holding 30-minute meeting with Vohra.

Repeatedly asked to name the “other party”, Sharma evaded a direct response. “You will come to know about it soon. The talks are on,” he said. “And then, you know how many parties we have around.”

Flanked by other senior leaders, Sharma also evaded queries on how much time his party would take to come up with the proposal.

“Our party is not in a hurry to form the government. People gave us the mandate and we have to see that a stable government, which can run for full six years, is formed as per the aspirations of the people of J&K,” Sharma said.

About the meeting with Governor, he said: “We informed him (Governor) that the party has started talks with other political outfits to cobble up a stable government in the state and so we require more time for this.”

Apparently hinting at the PDP, Sharma refused to name the party with which it is in touch. “You know how many parties are there in the state who have got the people’s mandate to form the government. We can only say that the process is on and you will get the details in days to come,” he said, when again asked about their prospective alliance partner.

Meanwhile, interacting with media, Avinash Rai Khanna, BJP’s in-charge for J&K affairs said, “Formal talks have just begin with our prospective alliance partner on various issues and the result will come soon.”

He said, “Its responsibility of the party to honour the public mandate and talks are on to provide development-centric stable government in the state.”

Over BJP’s demand of having the chief minister from Jammu region, Khanna said, “Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh constitute one state and the chief minister would be from the state of Jammu and Kashmir.”

He said the BJP knows “very well how to run a coalition government and the people have full trust on our party.” “BJP knows very well how to run a successful coalition government, as party is running same at New Delhi and several other states,” he said.

He said, “When we sit together and start a discussion on the issue of government formation, we can come out with a Common Minimum Programme and form a joint agenda to run the government.”

The BJP delegation which met the Governor comprised of newly-elected MLAs including Dr Nirmal Singh, Choudhary Lal Singh, Sham Choudhary, Kavinder Gupta, Sukhnandan Choudhary, besides party senior leaders, Ashok Khajuria and Shamsher Singh.

Pertinently, PDP president and MP Mehbooba Mufti yesterday dropped feelers of her party’s inclination for an alliance with BJP rather than the “grand alliance” with NC, Congress and independents.

“It takes 15 minutes to stake claim for a government but our priority is not to cobble up majority for the sake of power. We shall have to respect the mandate given by the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Mehooba had said after her hour-long meeting with Governor yesterday.

Pertinently, the Assembly elections threw up a hung verdict with PDP emerging as single-largest party with 28 seats in the 87-member House, followed by BJP with 25 seats.

The previous coalition partners—National Conference and Congress—finished at 15 and 12 seats respectively, while smaller parties and independents won seven seats. An elected government has to be put in place in Jammu and Kashmir by January 19, failing which the Governor’s rule will be imposed.