Assertive BJP puts J&K parties in a fix

Assertive BJP puts J&K parties in a fix

In the backdrop of a fractured verdict in Jammu and Kashmir, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conference (NC) appear to be in a dilemma over the issue of backing the BJP for forming the government.

The BJP is believed to be pushing for having its chief minister. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who was sent as observer along with national secretary Arun Singh, met the party’s 25 MLAs.Asserting that the BJP will have the “veto power”, Jaitley told reporters that the party will play a crucial role in government formation after having got the highest vote percentage (23 per cent), besides bagging the highest number of seats in Jammu
region.

The PDP emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats, while the BJP managed 25, the NC got 15 and the Congress 12 in the 87-member Assembly. A party or alliance needs 44 seats to form the government.

The MLAs have authorised party president Amit Shah, who earlier stated that all options would be exhausted for forming a government, to decide about the future course of action.

Amid media reports that NC chief  Omar Abdullah met Shah in New Delhi on Wednesday, party general secretary Ram Madhav, who was also in Kashmir on Thursday, tweeted, “News about BJP leaders meeting NC leadership in Delhi baseless.”

The NC is yet to officially state its position, but a party leader said they will not align with the BJP as it amounts to falling for “marriage of convenience and sacrificing our fundamental principles”.

The PDP, too, is trying to assess the consequences of allowing the BJP have a stake in the power structure. The saffron party has done well in the Hindu-dominated Jammu region, while the PDP emerged front-runner in the Muslim-majority Kashmir.

Interestingly, the NC reportedly tried to reach out to its arch-rival the PDP to ascertain if joint efforts could be undertaken to form the government. The PDP, however, has not responded.

The Congress has already offered its support to the PDP for government formation. State Congress chief Saifuddin Soz said: “It is a worrying situation in which certain power hungry political groups and individuals are trying to subvert the democratic verdict of the people in the just concluded election.”

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