Govt formation: BJP in secret talks with PDP, NC

Greater Kashmir

Many issues settled, expecting breakthrough by Feb 7: Koul

New Delhi, Jan 18: The BharatiyaJanata Party’s central leadership is presently engaged in a “secret dialogue” with the Peoples Democratic Party and National Conference over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir as the right-wing party doesn’t want its mandate to go waste, Greater Kashmir has learnt.
According to BJP’s central leaders, the party, despite being involved in the election campaign in New Delhi, intends to form a “stable government” in J&K. “We have a mandate. We don’t want it to go waste. Efforts are on to ensure a stable government is formed in J&K,” said a senior BJP leader, at the party headquarters, here.
Sources in BJP said the party chief Amit Shah has authorized its National Secretary Ram Madhav to strike a deal with PDP. “Madhav is in touch with the PDP leadership since December 23 and some issues like Article 370 and AFSPA have already been settled,” they said. “On rotational chief minister issue, the BJP is hell-bent to seek three-year term given the nature of mandate the party has received from Jammu region. The party is hopeful to strike a deal with PDP.”
On the other hand, the sources disclosed, the party is also in touch with National Conference. “It’s a number game at the end of the day. Anything is possible under the sun. We are in touch with NC as well,” they said.
BJP’s State Secretary (Organization), Ashok Koul, said the party’s central leadership is “actively” talking to both PDP and NC. “J&K
can’t have a government without BJP. We have a mandate and a huge vote share, though we couldn’t manage seats from Kashmir and Ladakh,” Koul, who is BJP’s Core Group leader, said.
Asked whether the government will be formed after February 7 when New Delhi goes to polls, he said anything can happen by or before February 7. “There is no doubt that our leadership is busy with election campaign in Delhi, but talks are on over government formation and ice can break any time,” he said.
Pertinently, the BJP leadership has issued a gag order to its leaders on speaking on government formation in J&K. Only a handful of leaders are authorized to comment on it.
BJP’s JK affairs in-charge, AvinashRai Khanna, said the party leadership is talking to both NC and PDP over government formation.
“We want a stable government in J&K and also desire that the mandate people have given to BJP should not go waste,” he said.
Senior BJP leader DrNirmal Singh said the party leadership is involved in hectic deliberations on government formation. “We can’t comment much on the issue as talks are going on at the higher level,” said Singh.