Senior BJP leaders from Jammu and Kashmir Ravinder Raina and Nirmal Singh today met party in-charge for the state Ram Madhav to discuss the current political situation in the state. The meeting between the party bigwigs and Madhav comes in the backdrop of reports that the saffron party is flexing its muscle and looking to form a new government in the border state.
Raina is the chief of the BJP’s J&K unit whereas Nirmal Singh had served as the deputy CM in the previous PDP-BJP coalition government headed by Mehbooba Mufti. The two leaders from J&K are expected to discuss the issue of government formation with Madhav in detail at the metting today, according to news channel News18.
The meeting comes amid reports that several rebel PDP leaders are in touch with the BJP. Reports coming in from the Valley suggest that the rebel MLAs may join ranks with the BJP to form a new government that will not have Mehbooba Mufti as part of it.
There are reports also doing the rounds that Nirmal Singh will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi later today, the channel reported. Singh is likely to brief the PM on the current political situation in the state which was placed under the Governor’s rule last month after BJP announced to exit the coalition government citing rise in radicalisation and failure in checking terror activities despite all help extended by the Modi government.
Speaking to the news channel, former deputy CM Kavinder Gupta didn’t rule out that the BJP was willing to form a new government but rubbished all reports that the party was poaching the rebel PDP MLAs.
“The party is not in touch with any of PDP MLAs. If we had to indulge in horse-trading, why would we have quit the government?” he asked.
The BJP is the second largest party in the state with 25 MLAs. It enjoys the support of two MLAs of Sajjal Lone’s Peoples Conference and one MLA from Ladakh. The magic figure to form a government here is 44. The tenure of currently Assembly expires in 2021 and has 87 chairs.
The PDP is the single largest party with 28 MLAs but at least five of its MLAs have openly revolted against their leader Mehbooba Mufti. The MLAs are believed to have expressed their displeasure over the style of Mufti’s leadership with few dropping hints that they are ready to realign with a new government.