A joint delegation of PDP-BJP legislators on Saturday met with Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra, staking claim to form government. The state has been under governor’s rule since January 9, two days after the demise of sitting Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
On Thursday Mehbooba Mufti was elected as PDP legislature party leader and chief ministerial candidate, while the BJP decided to extended support to PDP to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir.
“BJP Legislature Party has decided to support PDP in the formation of the government in the state and BJP and PDP together will approach the Governor and stake claim for formation of the government very soon,” BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav told reporters in Jammu after their crucial meeting.
“As we have decided to form the government with PDP, we will support the chief ministerial candidate of PDP,” J&K BJP President Sat Sharma said.
“We will go together to meet the Governor,” Madhav added.
Union minister Jitendra Singh, who also attended the meeting, said that there were no differences between the coalition partners.
“There was never a breakdown in the coalition between BJP and PDP. I think this is the continuation of the process which started about a year back,” Singh clarified.
“There were no differences. When you are in a coalition, you have to accommodate each other’s priorities and each other’s preferences. That is precisely what we do in a healthy coalition that augers well for Jammu and Kashmir,” Singh added.
The coalition partners will form government based on Agenda of Alliance, in which there will be no change claimed BJP J&K President Sat Sharma.
The crucial BJP meet also elected senior leader and former deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh as the legislature party leader who will also be the BJP candidate for the post of the deputy chief minister, said Singh.
Decks were cleared for PDP President Mehbooba Mufti to take over as the first woman chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir after she was unanimously elected as the legislature party leader and nominated as the party’s CM candidate on Thursday.
Things smoothened between the BJP and the PDP after Mufti met PM Modi on Wednesday morning. It was the meeting with the PM which put an end to the nearly three-month-long stalemate between the two parties. Both parties had hardened their stand after the death of sitting CM Mufti Mohammed Sayeed on January 7, early this year. PDP sought assurances from the BJP on a time-frame to implement of the Agenda of Alliance by the Centre before renewing the alliance for government formation.
PDP has 27 MLAs in the 87-member J-K Assembly while the BJP has 25. 2 MLAs from People’s Conference led by Sajjad Gani Lone and 2 Independents had also supported the government under Sayeed.
(With inputs from PTI)