For the first time since the death of former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the PDP Tuesday said it will soon form the government in the state with its alliance partner, the BJP. “We will be operating within the framework already formulated by the PDP under Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and the BJP,” PDP chief spokesperson Mehboob Baig told The Indian Express, adding that neither PDP nor BJP had set any pre-condition for government formation.
About delay in forming the government, he added: “We are mourning the death of our leader. The party couldn’t have formed the government during the mourning period.’’ The seven-day state mourning ends Wednesday.
The state was placed under governor’s rule on January 8. While refusing to set a clear timeline for government formation, Baig said, “Once Mehbooba ji comes out of mourning, we will have a government in coalition with the BJP soon… Everything between us (coalition partners) has been sorted out.’’
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Putting to rest all speculation triggered by Congress president Sonia Gandhi meeting Mehbooba Mufti in the Valley, he said: “This are speculation. The government will be formed by the PDP and the BJP. We have to honour our leader.”
Sources said that Muzuffar Hussain Baig, MP from Baramulla, was in touch with different leaders, especially BJP leaders, for the formation of the government. While still awaiting an official response from the PDP, the BJP had made made it clear that it was ready support the leader elected by the PDP as per the existing agreement and that it was for the Mehbooba-led party to take the first steps towards forming the next government.
On Tuesday, a senior BJP leader said: “The government will be formed very shortly and there is no bargaining from either side.’’ BJP spokesman Sunil Sethi also denied reports of preconditions being set by the BJP. “The PDP-BJP combine is the only viable coalition,’’ he said.
In the 87- member Assembly, PDP has been left with 27 members, followed by BJP (25), NC (15), Congress (12).
J&K Pradesh Congress chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir also said that Congress had never offered support to the PDP. “Our leaders came to Srinagar only to pay homage to Mufti sahib,’’ said Mir.
Meanwhile, National Panthers Party urged the President to dissolve the Assembly and hold fresh elections in the state.