A day after senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig threw his weight behind BJP ally Sajad Lone for cobbling up the third front, the three major mainstream political parties — PDP, NC and Congress — have decided to join hands to form the government.
Senior PDP leader and former Finance Minister Altaf Bukhari is the frontrunner for the post of chief minister. Sources said that while PDP president Mehbooba Mufti wanted Farooq Abdullah to lead the alliance, National Conference has decided not to be part of the government and support the PDP-Congress alliance from outside. Sources said Bukhari is the consensus candidate for the CM’s post.
“The alliance would likely be announced by the evening and after that, the alliance partners would meet the Governor and stake claim,” a senior PDP leader told The Indian Express.
A senior NC leader said the two rival parties have joined hands to protect the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. The leader said while the three major political parties have decided to cobble alliance there is every apprehension that the Centre would ask the Governor to dissolve the Assembly, thus stalling the process. “We are happy both ways,” he said.
While the Peoples Democratic Party has 28 seats in the state assembly, National Conference has 15 and Congress 12. The three parties together make it to 55 against the required number of 44 in the 87-member house.