J&K Governor calls for talks today, PDP signals phone call from Delhi may bring back BJP alliance

J&K BJP team in Delhi for talks; NC and Congress welcome Raj Bhawan move

Written by Arun Sharma , Bashaarat Masood , Mir Ehsan | Srinagar/jammu | Updated: February 2, 2016 7:41 am
Kashmir crisis, J&K crisis, political crisis in kashmir, PDP-BJP alliance, PDP, BJP, Mehbooba Mufti, Kashmir governor, government formation in kashmir PDP leaders Naeem Akhtar and Zulfikar Chaudhary in Srinagar. (Express Photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

As Jammu & Kashmir Governor N N Vohra asked the PDP and BJP to meet him separately Tuesday and clarify 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”.

Sources in Srinagar said government formation in the state “wouldn’t be so difficult” if Prime Minister Narendra Modi or BJP chief Amit Shah were to assure PDP party president Mehbooba Mufti that the agenda of 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 key role in stitching up the alliance last March under the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

Watch video: J&K crisis: What Is Troubling The PDP-BJP Alliance?

The PDP chief was yet to receive any assurance though from the BJP brass to address concerns regarding the agenda of alliance, sources said.

“There are no conditions. The agenda of alliance is sacrosanct for us and we only want its implementation,” Mehbooba Mufti was quoted as having told party legislators Monday while explaining her stand on government formation.

Senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar too told The Indian Express: “We don’t seek anything beyond the agenda of alliance. It is a sacred document for us. We have both agreed to it. We only want its honest implementation. How and when that will happen is a matter of understanding and trust.”

Earlier Monday, Governor Vohra asked state BJP and PDP leaders to meet him separately at the Raj Bhawan in Srinagar Tuesday. While PDP leaders met in Srinagar to discuss the call from the Governor, state BJP leaders held a separate meeting in Jammu.

The PDP delegation will be led by party president Mehbooba Mufti while BJP state president Sat Sharma will head his party’s team.
State BJP general secretary (organisation) Ashok Koul told The Indian Express that the Governor has called them for a discussion at 6 pm Tuesday. The PDP leaders will be meeting him at 4.30 pm, he said.

In the 87-member House, the PDP with 27 MLAs is the single largest party followed by the BJP with 25 members. The National Conference has 15 MLAs and the Congress 12.

A three-member BJP team left 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 welcomed Vohra’s decision to call the PDP and BJP.

“Good. The state can’t be treated 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 clarify their positions on government formation.

“The PDP leadership has termed the agenda of alliance a sacred document and if it is a sacred document, 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.