BJP keeps all options open

BJP keeps all options open

After putting up the best show in the only Muslim majority state, the BJP is now eyeing to form the government in Jammu and Kashmir. The party is planning to explore all options taking advantage of highly fractured mandate in the state.

 In the 87-member Assembly, the BJP came second cornering 25 seats, three short of frontrunner People’s Democratic Party (PDP)’s 28. A senior party leader involved in the government formation exercise said that “lines are open” with the National Conference (NC) and the PDP.

The BJP managed to improve its performance from last 2008 polls where it had got 11 seats. Interestingly, the party had largest vote share this time with 23.4 per cent with the PDP coming next with 22 per cent, indicating that it also got votes in Muslim-dominated Kashmir region but failed to open its account there and did well only
in Hindu-majority area of Jammu.

"All options are open. We have the option of forming the government, supporting someone and being part of a government led by someone. All three options are open.

The BJP will see what intiative the other parties take and decide accordingly," said BJP president Amit Shah said at a press conference here after the results were announced.

The NC, which was voted out of power this time, may be its first choice to sound out for ministry formation though as per the tally, the alliance will have to depend on wafer-thin majority relying heavily on three independents, party sources said.  During earlier NDA regime of  former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the NC was part of the government.

  The BJP won 25, the NC managed 15, Sajjad Lone’s People Conference two and there are three favourable independents. If this equation works out, the BJP-led alliance will have 45 MLAs which is one more than half way mark required to receive invitation from governor to form the government.

BJP chief Amit Shah, when asked to react on the statement made by NC leader and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah that his party will not have  any truck with the right wing party, said Omar might not be speaking truth to media as it is not the right platform.
Abdullah said chances of forming government with the BJP help is 99 per cent no.

Interestingly, Shah and Modi had attacked Abdullah and Mufti families but are now keen to have power sharing alliance with the NC and the PDP respectively. The other probable option the BJP is exploring is to either support or join the PDP government. With the two coming together, the alliance will be stable as the count comes to 53.  

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