Govt formation: Mehbooba to take call when BJP 'convinces' her

Govt formation: Mehbooba to take call when BJP 'convinces' her

Govt formation: Mehbooba to take call when BJP 'convinces' her

PDP today kept the guessing game on over the government formation in Jammu and Kashmir even as its chief Mehbooba Mufti met senior leaders and made it clear that she will decide only after being "convinced" that BJP will take the objective of the alliance to its logical conclusion.

The party, however, termed as "presumption" whether fresh elections could be called in the state which is under Governor's Rule since January 8, imposed a day after then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed passed away.

Mehbooba, who is seen as the successor to her late father as  Chief Minister, held four-hour long meeting with party leaders, who included MPs, MLAs, zonal presidents and block presidents, on the issue of government formation and "how to take forward Mufti's vision of peace and development."

One MP Tariq Karra, who has openly been opposing alliance with BJP, was not present in the meeting.

The government formation is not stuck but "it's a process that will carry on", party leader Naeem Akhtar said.

Giving details of the meeting, he said Mehbooba, who has already been authorized by the party to take a decision on government formation, told the meeting that she is "ready to take a call on it once she is convinced that the purpose and the objective of the alliance that Mufti had forged with Prime Minister Narendra Modi" would be taken to its logical conclusion.

The PDP chief said the "purpose of that (alliance) was not limited to government formation, but it was to take Jammu and Kashmir out of the trouble that it has faced for most part of its history".

For Mufti, the alliance was based on "trust and belief that it will translate into real relief for the people of the state which ultimately would also serve the national interest and also bring peace into the sub-continent between India and Pakistan," Mehbooba told the meeting held at her residence.

"That is why he (Mufti) always spoke about Indo-Pak relations even on his death bed and the other things which include the economic side of it so that the state is taken out of its problems," Akhtar said.

PDP would take no time to form the government with BJP "once we believe that the country believes in us, they repose their trust in us and we can carry forward the agenda which has a strong political side to it, which has the economic side to it and we are able to carry that forward, we will not take time (to form government)," Akhtar said.

"Mehbooba will take a call on this once she is sure that we can purposefully carry forward that agenda," he said.

PDP, with 27 MLAs in the 87-member Assembly and BJP with 25 legislators, ran a coalition government headed by Mufti Sayeed for 10 months before his demise on January 7.
Akhtar said PDP was not demanding anything from the BJP or the Centre as they are aware of the problems of the state.

"We are not demanding anything. They know where the implementation is needed and government of India, the BJP, is more aware of the problems of Jammu and Kashmir than we are," he said.

"Jammu and Kashmir is not our monopoly. It is the problem of entire country and the government of India knows what to do and how to do about it," Akhtar said.

Responding to questions, he said, "Mehbooba will take a call, surely, on the basis of 'Agenda of Alliance' once she is convinced and the party is convinced that the trust reposed by us in the entire country through that document (Agenda for Alliance) is reciprocated."

The PDP leader said "the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the government that comes into being in the state" should be "worthy of that trust and they (should) think the government of India, the people of India trust us with our destinies and the Agenda that has been set by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in alliance with the other party can be carried forward to its logical conclusion."

He said the purpose of alliance with the BJP was not just to form the government but to carry forward the agenda set by the late chief minister.

"The purpose of alliance was not just to form the government. It was beyond that and the government formation was only a component of that," the PDP leader said.

The PDP leader said though he was not authorized to say anything about the issues or whether any BJP leader was formally in touch with the party leadership, "there are issues which the government of India, the BJP, is aware of. And those issues are not confined to government formation."

He said, "it is not about courtesies or personal conduct but about the issues that we feel are necessary to be addressed for the betterment of the people of the state and the primary need of reposing trust in the people of the state. The issues are known to everybody."

Akhtar said the basic aim of the today's meeting was to discuss the party affairs and the how to take forward Mufti’s vision of peace and development.

"This was the agenda, but there was a talk about government formation as well and it became inevitable to discuss that in view of the ideas and views expressed by various leaders," he said.

Asked whether the party was preparing for fresh elections, Akhtar said "we have not said that. That is your presumption."