PDP sets rider for govt formation with BJP

PDP sets rider for govt formation with BJP

Jammu and Kashmir’s People's Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday hinted that it was ready to form government with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) if the saffron party took its regional aspirations into consideration.

“If only government formation would have been the issue, we could have aligned with the Congress or even the National Conference (NC) despite their defeat, and formed an alliance with either of them. But the question is if we go with the Congress or the NC, can we solve the issues which are in the Central government's domain?” PDP chief spokesman Nayeem Akhtar told Deccan Herald.

Asked whether that means the BJP was the only option left for the PDP, he evaded a direct answer but dropped enough hints that the party had taken the final decision to go with the saffron brigade.

“Reconciliation, dialogue, cross-LoC trade, revocation of AFSPA and return of hydel-power projects from the Centre are some of the basic issues the PDP has promised to the people of the state, which we will fulfil once in power. But is it possible to solve any of these issues if we go with the Congress and the NC?” he said.

Trying further to justify the proposed alliance with the BJP, Akhtar, the only leader PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has authorised to speak on policy issues, said, “Rehabilitation of flood victims needs a whopping Rs 50,000 crore. Can we get this money from the Centre if we go with the NC or the Congress?”

However, he was quick to add that for an alliance, the BJP had to take the PDP's regional aspirations into account. “We will never make any compromise with regional aspirations,” he said. Asked whether talks were under way between the two parties, he said, “Informal communication on government formation with the BJP are on. But I can’t say if and when formal talks will start.”

Meanwhile, sources told Deccan Herald that BJP state unit leaders, headed by MP Jugal Kishor Sharma, left for New Delhi from Jammu to brief the party high command about the possibility of an alliance with the PDP.

“Formal talks with the PDP will only start after the state leaders give their viewpoints to the high command,” they said, adding that a high-level BJP delegation headed by party general secretary Ram Madhav would arrive in J&K for the final discussion with PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed next week.

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