Who will be J&K CM? BJP in talks with PDP rebels, but no consensus over top post

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Updated: July 9, 2018 12:10:02 PM

It wouldn't come up as a big surprise to many if Bharatiya Janata Party garners support and form the government in Jammu and Kashmir for the remaining two and a half year of the assembly.

JAMMU AND KASHMIR, jk politics, sajjad lone jammu kashmir politics, politics in j&K, jammu kashmir politics, politics in jammu kashmirThe BJP is in talks with the rebel PDP leaders who are not adamant on lending support to the saffron party.

It wouldn’t come up as a big surprise to many if Bharatiya Janata Party garners support and form the government in Jammu and Kashmir for the remaining two and a half year of the assembly. The BJP is in talks with the rebel PDP leaders who are not adamant on lending support to the saffron party. At least 21 of the 28 MLAs from the PDP are in talks with the BJP, some senior leaders told The Indian Express. However, there is no consensus over the chief minister’s post.

As per an Indian Express report, the PDP rebels want Sajad Lone, the chief of BJP’s ally Peoples Conference as the chief minister. On the other hand, the name of Union minister Jitendra Singh, senior BJP leader and Union minister from the Jammu region, is also making rounds for the CM post.

While the BJP is willing to concede any demand or ministry, it is adamant on holding the CM’s post. On the other hand, rebel PDP leaders think that the time is not right for J&K to have saffron party leaders at the helm. “They see this a rare opportunity to get their own CM,” some sources told IE.

J&K, the only Muslim-majority state in India, holds special significance to Modi’s party before going into the 2019 general elections. Some sources also told IE that Sajjad Lole’s Peoples Conference is approaching leaders from the PDP to lend support to the BJP.

Recently, former CM Mehbooba Mufti also expressed apprehensions that BJP may indulge in ‘breaking her party’. “If Delhi intervenes and breaks our party and makes Sajad Ghani Lone or whosoever chief minister, it will erode the trust of Kashmiris in Indian democracy. Any intervention from Delhi will be taken seriously,” Mufti had told news channel India TV.

While leaders have apprehensions that 21 MLAs PDP could break away, five of them — Imran Reza Ansari, his uncle Abid Ansari, Abdul Majeed Padder, Abbas Wani and Javed Hassan Baig — have already launched an open rebellion against the party.

Imran Raza Ansari has recently said that the party has been hijacked by “vested interests” and that Mehbooba has installed her favourites over elected members to run the party and the government.
Ansari, who represents Pattan constituency, has said that Mehbooba’s close aides never allowed her to function. The MLA further added that he and his uncle Abid Ansari will not contest the election from the party.
In the same line of event, Mufti is going to meet some these leaders today, including some of these rebels. The PDP has 28 members, followed by BJP’s 25 in 87 members strong assembly. Currently, the BJP has the support of Peoples Conference MLAs and Independent legislators. It needs 16 more legislators in its support to be able to form a govenrment.

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