As Jammu & Kashmir Governor N N Vohra required the PDP and BJP to meet him separately Tuesday and simplify their stand on government formation in the state, the PDP sent clear signals that the return of the coalition was “just a phone call away.” Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “amenable” to discussions with all stakeholders to reestablish peace in the region but that no dialogue was possible in the face of bullets and stones.
Sources in Srinagar told government formation in the state “wouldn’t be so difficult” if PM Narendra Modi or BJP chief Amit Shah were to assure PDP party president Mehbooba Mufti that the agenda of the alliance would be “implemented sincerely.”
Sources said Mehbooba Mufti has been in direct touch with the BJP leadership, especially Home Minister Rajnath Singh and party general secretary Ram Madhav who played a crucial role in stitching up the alliance last March under the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
The PDP chief was yet to accept any assurance though from the BJP brass to address concerns regarding the agenda of the alliance, sources said, “there are no conditions. The program of the association is sacrosanct for us, and we only want its implementation,” Mehbooba Mufti was quoted as having said party legislators Monday while explaining her stand on government formation.
Senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar too said The Indian Express, “We don’t seek anything beyond the agenda of the alliance. It is a sacred document for us. We have both agreed to it. We only want its correct implementation. How and when that will occur is a matter of understanding and trust.”
Governor Vohra suggested state BJP and PDP leaders meet him separately at the Raj Bhawan in Srinagar Tuesday. While PDP leaders gathered in Srinagar to discuss the call from the Governor, state BJP leaders held a separate meeting in Jammu. The PDP assignment will be led by party president Mehbooba Mufti while BJP state president Sat Sharma will head his party’s team.
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State BJP general secretary (organization) Ashok Koul told The Indian Express that the Governor had called them for a discussion at 6 pm Tuesday. The PDP directors will be meeting him in the 87-member House, the PDP with 27 MLAs is the single highest party followed by the BJP with 25 members. The National discussion has 15 MLAs and the Congress 12.
A three-member BJP organization neglected for Delhi to apprise the party leadership of the developments in the state. Sat Sharma was accompanied by former Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh and Lok Sabha member Jugal Kishore Sharma. The NC and Congress greeted Vohra’s decision to call the PDP and BJP.
The state can’t be managed like a playground by these two parties, former J&K chief minister and NC working president Omar Abdullah wrote on Twitter, referring to the decision of the Governor. State Congress president Ghulam Ahmad Mir told The Indian Express that both parties should simplify their positions on government formation.
“The PDP leadership has spanned the agenda of the alliance a sacred document and if it is a holy text, then why are they raising questions,’’ Mir said, adding that this could be “political posturing” by leaders of both parties. “The people of the state have voted for a democratic government and not for Governor’s rule,” he said.