PDP’s stand keeps BJP hopes of forming Kashmir govt afloat

The BJP remains confident it will be able to continue its ruling coalition with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir, picking up signs of a resolution in the latter’s stand that their agenda of alliance was a “sacred document”.

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti has been authorised by her party to make a decision on continuing the alliance with the BJP after her father and state chief minister Mufti Mohammad Saeed died on January 7.

The state is now under governor’s rule.

On Sunday, the PDP said the agenda of alliance was a “sacred document” for them, but it wasn’t yet clear when a decision on the coalition would come.

“We treat this as PDP’s inclination to continue in the alliance. However, we are still waiting to hear from them,” a BJP leader in Delhi told .

“We have already communicated to the PDP that we would like the government to continue for the welfare of all the three regions of the state.”

Moreover, the BJP leadership remains skeptical about reports that Mehbooba wanted to renegotiate the terms of engagement, possibly laying claim to some key infrastructure portfolios that the BJP held in the previous government.

BJP leaders say no formal communication has been made to them to this effect so far.

“The previous arrangement was reached at after a long process of negotiations and of consultations. Ideally, those terms of engagement should remain the same to provide a stable government,” said another BJP leader closely involved with the developments.

“We will look into all such issues only when they come before us.”

National Conference patron and PDP’s rival Farooq Abdullah has also asked the BJP and the PDP to decide quickly. Abdullah told a news channel that a state like Jammu and Kashmir can’t go on like this without a government.

“If they can’t form a government, there should be fresh election,” Abdullah had earlier said.