PDP turns down NC offer

Greater Kashmir

Omar’s support desperate attempt to negate poll results: NaeemAkther

Srinagar, Jan 14: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Wednesday formally turned down the offer of support from the arch-rival National Conference on government formation in Jammu and Kashmir.
The PDP’s refusal comes a day after the NC’s Working President Omar Abdullah officially confirmed his party’s support to the PDP in a communication to Governor NN Vohra.
“The PDP will make a government but it will not be decided by NC with whom our party should align with,” PDP’s chief spokesman, NaeemAkther told Greater Kashmir.  “This (offer by Omar) is a desperate attempt by NC to negate the election results and convert their defeat into a victory.”
According to Akther, NC was trying to “return to power through backdoor after having being rejected by the people.”
Governor’s rule was imposed in the state on January 8 after Omar stepped down as the caretaker chief minister.
The Assembly elections threw up a hung verdict with political parties failing to stitch the magic number of 44 in the 87-member Assembly to stake claim for government formation.
On December 25, PDP legislator AltafBukhari had asked for a written affirmation from NC after Omar’s offer of support to the PDP.
With no end to political crisis in J&K—27 days after the election results were declared on December 23—Omar wrote to the governor yesterday, a day after he chaired NC core group meeting here. NC has blamed PDP for “pushing the State into the Governor’s rule.”
The PDP emerged single-largest party in the election results, bagging 28 seats, followed by BJP with 25 seats. The National Conference has 15 seats and is claiming support of three independents, while Congress party has 12 members.
“The political impasse is certainly not good and a cause of concern for us as a regional party. The question is when the PDP, which has its 28 members, has unconditional support of our 15 legislators, why is it reluctant to form the government with us?” a National Conference leader said yesterday. “Together we can get 43 members. Plus we have the support of few more MLAs and we can therefore form a very stable government. It will be more stable than the PDP-Congress tie-up wherein they require support of more independents, thus leading to fears of greater instability.”
However PDP today said it has responsibility towards people “which goes beyond numbers and government formation.”
“We have received mandate on our assurances of bringing peace, giving sense of justice by removing contentious laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act and carrying out reconciliation process,” Akther said. “The NC has failed to do anything on these fronts during its six-year rule. They are now reduced to the margins of the State’s political scene and with 15 members in the Assembly they can’t dictate political course to the other parties nor call the shots on government formation.”
In 2002 the PDP, which contested the elections for the first time, won 16 seats and formed the coalition government with Congress.
The party has been negotiating with BJP on government formation for more than 20 days.