NC-Congress-PDP likely to form govt in J&K

NC-Congress-PDP likely to form govt in J&K

With speculations running rife in Kashmir about the possibility of PDP, NC and Congress coming together to form a new alliance government in the state, hectic political deliberations are going on in Srinagar, Jammu and Delhi over the issue, sources told Deccan Herald.

They said behind the scene efforts were underway to thwart the efforts of BJP to make separatist-turned-mainstream leader Sajjad Lone as new Chief Minister of the state. Speculations have been agog for the last few days that BJP was trying to form a government in the only Muslim majority state of the country, headed by Lone, whose People Conference (PC) has two MLAs in the current Assembly.

While the BJP has 25 MLAs in the 87-member Assembly, the BJP-PC combination would fall short of the required majority of 44 which is sought to be made by splitting the PDP, which has been rocked by dissidence.

Only yesterday PDP co-founder and Member Parliament Muzaffar Beig said that he was considering quitting the party and joining the “third front” led by Sajad Lone if it takes a shape in the coming days. A few PDP MLAs led by influential Shia leader Imran Ansari had already rebelled against the party chief Mehbooba Mufti and sided with Lone. 

Sources said to counter this alliance taking shape in the restive state, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the National Conference (NC) are holding deliberations over forming ‘grand alliance’ with the support of Congress.

“Talks between the three parties are at an advanced stage, in order to stymie the BJP's attempts to take power after engineering defections,” they said and added Congress high command has approved a ‘grand alliance’ with Mehbooba Mufti’s PDP and Omar Abdullah's NC to checkmate the BJP in the state, where six-month central rule ends next on December 19.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad while confirming that talks were going on among the three parties over government formation in the state, reportedly said: “Hum parties ka yeh kehna tha ki kyu na hum ikatthe ho jaye aur sarkar banaye. Abhi vo stage sarkar banne wali nahi hai,ek sujhaav ke taur par baatcheet abhi chal rahi hai (We [NC, Congress, PDP] thought why not to unite and form a government together. Talks are going on but as of now, it is only a suggestion…We haven’t reached that stage yet where we can form the government).”

The state is currently under governor's rule which cannot be extended on December 19. It is proposed to impose President's rule thereafter but the 87-member assembly is not being dissolved, according to Governor Satyapal Mallik.

A popular government headed by the Mehbooba fell when BJP pulled out of the ruling coalition on June 19.