Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra has told the People’s Democratic Party and the BJP that they must clarify by tomorrow evening whether they will form government in the state again.
The 10-month-old alliance between the two parties has been brought to an edge by the seeming reluctance of PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti to renew it. Ms Mufti is expected to succeed as chief minister, her father, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who died early last month.
Mehbooba Mufti, who has refused to take oath long past the official mourning for her father, on Sunday delivered a broad hint that she would prefer fresh elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
“I will stand by the core ideology of PDP even if I’m all alone. I will go back to the people,” sources quoted her as saying at a party meeting. A PDP communique said she spelled out her condition for government formation – that the BJP, which is in power at the Cemtre, must deliver on promises made in a common agenda of governance they agreed upon.
The BJP, said party sources, has no official communication of Ms Mufti’s terms and conditions. Top BJP leaders in the state will meet today and later travel to Delhi to hold discussions with the party’s central leadership.
The sources said the party is confident of forming government in the state again with the PDP. It is also firm that it does not have to make any assurances since there has been deviation from the “agenda of alliance” in the last 10 months.
Signals from the PDP are mixed; a section of the leaders reportedly said at Sunday’s meeting that they were in favour of immediate government formation.
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed died on January 7. With his daughter refusing to take oath, President’s Rule was imposed.
The PDP is the largest party in the 87-member assembly with 27 seats. It tied up with second largest party, the BJP, which has 25 seats, in an uncomfortable alliance of ideological opposites.