J&K: Governor steps in as PDP keeps BJP guessing

RSTV Bureau
Srinagar: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti along with Party Senior Vice-President and Member Parliment Muzaffar Hussain Beigh during a crucial party meeting on Goverment formation following the death of her father and Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Syed,at Mufti Residence in Srinagar on Sunday. PTI Photo

Srinagar: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti along with Party Senior Vice-President and Member Parliment Muzaffar Hussain Beigh during a crucial party meeting on Goverment formation following the death of her father and Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Syed,at Mufti Residence in Srinagar on Sunday. PTI Photo

A day after PDP said that they need to reassess its alliance with the BJP before forming a government in Jammu and Kashmir, Governor NN Vohra has stepped in to resolve the crisis.

Governor Vohra has called both PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and state BJP chief Sat Pal Sharma for meeting on Tuesday and has asked them to clarify their stand on government formation.

“Yes, Governor has called her (Mehbooba Mufti) for a meeting tomorrow,” PDP spokesperson Naeem Akhter confirmed to PTI.

Both leaders are scheduled to meet the Governor one after the other on Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the core group of BJP met today at the residence of its General Secretary (Organisation) Ashok Kaul to decide their future course of action. PDP’s new stand on Sunday has got the state BJP members into a huddle.

On Sunday the PDP said that the party chief will take a call on the alliance only after she is “convinced” that BJP will implement the ‘Agenda of Alliance.’

In the four-hour long meeting, Mufti spelt out her conditions for government formation for the first time since the demise of sitting CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on January 7. It is learnt that Mufti expressed displeasure over the little movement forward on the implementation of political and economic initiatives taken by the Centre despite Mufti Sayeed’s “courageous, although unpopular, decision of aligning with BJP.”

She explained to her party workers that the purpose of the alliance was not limited to government formation, but to take Jammu and Kashmir out of the trouble that it has faced for most part of its history.

“The Government of India shall have to take substantive measures towards implementation of the PDP-BJP ‘Agenda of Alliance’ in the interest of peace and stability in J-K and for this PDP needs a set timeframe to be worked out,” Mufti said in Sunday’s meet.

PDP’s new stand has further pushed the state into uncertainty as it has been under Governor’s rule since January 10.

The Governor’s consultations with the PDP and BJP are seen as last ditch efforts to avoid snap assembly polls in the state.

Meanwhile, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah said that fresh polls should be held in the state if PDP was not ready to form the government.

“If PDP is not ready to form the government, then the only option is… call for fresh polls. No other party is ready to form government with them and if PDP also wants the same, then it is time they call for fresh polls. This is what should be done in a democracy,” said Abdullah.

“We have only 15 MLAs and are in no capacity to form a government,” he added.

As of now the PDP holds 28 seats in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly. BJP  has 25 MLAs, while the NC and the Congress have 15 and 12 MLAs each.

(With inputs from PTI)