Tie-up with BJP might put PDP’s future in Kashmir in danger: PDP
Srinagar, January 4
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he newly-elected MLAs of PDP have voiced apprehensions about the party’s future in the Valley if it was to enter into an alliance with BJP for government formation in Jammu and Kashmir.
The MLAs conveyed their concerns about an alliance with the BJP to top PDP leadership after interacting with cross section of people in their respective constituencies, a senior PDP leader said on condition of anonymity.
“The MLAs after visiting their constituencies came back with the feedback that the future of PDP might be at stake if the party joined hands with the BJP for government formation,” the PDP leader said.He said there was a consensus among the MLAs that there is a vast gap to fill for their party in order to enter an alliance with BJP.
“Given the agenda of the BJP like Article 370, revocation of AFSPA and our stand on these issues, the two parties have a lot of distance to cover in order to reach a common ground,” a leader said.
The election results on December 23 threw up a hung Assembly with the PDP emerging as the single largest party winning 28 seats – 25 in Kashmir and three in Jammu region.
The BJP came a close second by winning 25 seats – all in Jammu – and is pulling out all stops to form its first government in the only Muslim-majority state of the country.
National Conference (NC) bagged 15 seats while Congress won 12 seats with smaller parties and independents winning on seven seats.
However, no combination of political parties has been able to cobble up an alliance to form the government in the state due to ideological differences of all three major parties with the BJP.
NC, Congress and three unattached MLAs have offered unconditional support to PDP for forming the government.
As PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and president Mehbooba Mufti were unable to make up their mind on possible alliance partners, they asked the newly-elected MLAs to get a feedback from their constituents, particularly in regard with an alliance with the BJP.
The PDP leader said the high voter turnout in Kashmir was seen as a response to BJP’s ‘Mission 44+’ as the electorate wanted to keep out the national party from making inroads into the Valley.
“While people have voted in numbers for BJP in Jammu region, they were blanked out in Kashmir and Ladakh. It is a piquant situation as far as regional parties like PDP and NC are concerned … it would be hard to justify an alliance with a party which people voted to keep out,” he added.
He said while the party could easily get support of 44 MLAs required for form the government, it would not want to disrespect the mandate BJP has got in Jammu region. BJP president Amit Shah over the past couple of days has maintained that his party had all options open for government formation and talks were going on with both National Conference and PDP. NC working president Omar Abdullah outrightly rejected Shah’s assertion while PDP said no formal talks have been started with the BJP. “And while we are on the subject, let me reiterate that neither I nor my father are discussing any sort of alliance with the BJP. Period,” Omar said. The PDP chief spokesman Naeem Akhtar said while back channel consultations were in progress, the stage for formal talks had not been reached yet. The state would go under Governor’s Rule if no political party or combination of parties stake claim for government formation by January 19.