Amid continuing suspense over government formation, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra today invited for discussions Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the first and second largest parties in the elections, which threw up a highly-fractured verdict with no clear winner.
Vohra has sent letters separately to PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and state BJP chief Jugal Kishore “for holding discussions on the proposal for government-formation,” a Raj Bhavan official said.
The letter from the Governor has asked the PDP President to meet him on January one morning followed by the state BJP chief on the same afternoon.
The letter to the two major parties said that the term of last Assembly was to end on January 18 and, therefore, both of them should come and discuss about the government formation, the sources said.
The Governor apparently to avoid a repeat of 2002 when government could not be formed for 22 days pushing the state towards a spell of Governor’s rule. The parties have also been conveyed the message that if they are not able to cobble together numbers, then they could tell the Governor about their position when they meet him.
BJP, which ended up with a tally of 25 in the 87-strong Assembly, and PDP, which secured 28 seats, have held discussions in the last two days to explore the possibility of coming together. There was no indication as to how the discussions have gone.
Parallelly, two other key players, the National Conference (NC) which got 15 seats and Congress (12 seats), continued to make efforts to keep BJP out of power by offering support to PDP whose response remained a matter of speculation.
NC Working President and outgoing Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who has already declared that there is no deal between his party and the BJP, tweeted tonight that only “a verbal offer of support” has been conveyed to the PDP. But it looks like “PDP is playing mind games with the BJP leaking about a letter of NC support that doesn’t exist”.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad asked the BJP not to be “insensitive” and be seen indulging in “arm-twisting” tactics while “bulldozing” its way on government formation.
“The way BJP is bulldozing regional parties in Jammu and Kashmir and that’s just being insensitive towards the mandate and people of the state, ” Azad, who is Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, told reporters in Delhi.