PDP talks tough, sticks to ideology

BJP won't allow grand alliance to form govt

PDP talks tough, sticks to ideology

As stalemate continued over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday toughened their stand with the former saying that there “is no question“ of compromising on its ideology.

PDP chief spokesperson Nayeem Akhtar told reporters that the party’s stand on Article 370 was non-negotiable.

“As far as Article 370 is concerned, it is non-negotiable. During elections we promised to repeal Armed Forces Special Powers Act besides paving way for a resolution on the Kashmir issue and we stand by that,” Akhtar said.

BJP parliamentarian and in charge of J&K affairs  Avinash Rai Khanna was quoted by a local news agency as saying that the saffron party would form the next government in the next few days and would not allow a grand alliance between the PDP, National Conference (NC) and the Congress to come to power.

Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday floated an idea of a “grand alliance” between the PDP, NC and the Congress.

Coming down heavily on the idea, Khanna said: “Azad’s dream to be a part of the government will not come true. Without the BJP it is not possible to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir. We have received a letter from the  governor about forming a government. We are finalising the modalities and the new government will start functioning shortly.”

The parties have toughened their stand a day after Governor N N Vohra invited PDP and BJP leaders to discuss modalities about government formation.

Vohra asked the presidents of the two parties to submit their proposals on forming the government.

The PDP has 28 MLAs, BJP 25, NC 15 and the Congress 12. Smaller parties and independents have won seven seats.

Numerically, only a PDP-BJP alliance can touch the halfway mark without the support of independent legislators.

The PDP and NC leaderships are caught in a catch-22 situation with some influential leaders within the parties strongly opposing an alliance with the right-wing BJP on the grounds that such a partnership could be suicidal for them in the Muslim-majority Kashmir region, which is the main base for both parties.

A senior PDP leader told Deccan Herald: “One of the main reasons for the NC’s decline in the last more than one decade was its alliance with the National Democratic Alliance government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. We don’t want to repeat the mistake.”

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