Will form govt on our own, claim BJP, PDP

Following the release of exit polls just after the fifth and final phase of polling in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claimed they would form government on their own.

While exit polls predict that the PDP would emerge the single-largest party with 32-38 seats, and the BJP will get 27-33 seats.

The ruling National Conference (NC) is predicted to finish third with 8-14 seats, while the Congress, which was a coalition partner in Omar Abdullah's NC-led government, may get somewhere 4-8 seats.

In the 87-member Assembly, a party or coalition needs 44 members to form government. With the exit polls showing that none of the parties reach the magic figure, speculations have began doing the rounds about formation of a new coalition government in the state.
BJP spokesman Arun Gupta, while expressing hope that the party would win more seats than the exit polls suggest, said: “We would prefer to sit in the Opposition if we don’t have the numbers to form government.”

As for joining hands with a regional party to form government, he said, “We would prefer to sit in the Opposition than align with the PDP or NC. We will either join hands with independents if required, or sit in the Opposition,” Gupta added.

PDP chief spokesman Naeem Akhtar also hoped that his party would do better than what the exit polls suggested. “Our hopes of forming government on our own have strengthened after today’s (Saturday's) polls.”

Most NC leaders had either switched off their mobile phones or were not reachable for comment.

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