- Vohra meets Union Home Secy
- BJP blames PDP for playing mind games
- Omar returns from London, meets Governor
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir is heading towards Governor’s rule as the ‘informal’ talks that were going on between PDP and BJP for government formation in the state have failed to make any headway.
According to a PTI report from New Delhi, Governor N N Vohra had a meeting with Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami to discuss ongoing stalemate in the state after the assembly elections threw up a fractured mandate.
Caretaker Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who returned from London on Wednesday morning after visiting his ailing father and former Union Minister Farooq Abdullah, also called on the Governor, the PTI said.
Meanwhile, a senior BJP leader told Kashmir Reader that the ‘informal’ negotiations with the PDP have slowed down as the saffron party “doesn’t want to show eagerness.”
“We had initiated negotiations with the PDP, but they are playing mind games and haven’t held a formal meeting with us yet. Now, we don’t want to display eagerness as it will put us in a weaker position. Also, the PDP has to own us, which they aren’t doing in public,” BJP’s state vice-president Ramesh Arora said.
He said the negotiations have slowed down for there has been no agreement over many contentious issues. “They want to seek assurance from us on free trade and peaceful Indo-Pakistan relations. But we told them that it is the domain of the foreign ministry,” he said.
“It will take time to sort out the issues, and no deadline has been fixed.”
Arora said the BJP has formed a committee headed by Ram Madhav to hold negotiations with possible partners including National Conference. Other members of the committee include Jitendra Singh, Jugal Kishore and Nirmal Singh. “The team will explore options and take the process ahead,” he added.
PDP chief spokesperson Naeem Akhtar however said the informal negotiations were going on.
But a senior PDP leader privy to the negotiations acknowledged that there has been no progress in the talks with the BJP. “We just tried to study and explore every option. But negotiations with the BJP haven’t made any headway. Our party leadership has understood that the alliance is going to harm us. Basically, the negotiations with the BJP were necessary so that we wouldn’t be accused by anyone that we did not explore options,” the leader told Kashmir Reader.
“Allying with the BJP would bring disrepute to the party. We have to think about people as well. They voted for us to keep the BJP at bay,” he said.
On Tuesday, the PDP had said the talks with BJP had not reached a stage at which contentious issues will be discussed.
With 28 seats in the 87-member state Assembly, PDP is the largest political party but 16 short of the 44 seats needed to form the government on its own. It has turned down offers of support from Congress (12 seats) and National Conference (15 seats) and shown interest in a tie-up with the BJP, which has 25 seats, all from Jammu region.
On Tuesday, Hindustan Times, quoting an anonymous PDP senior leader, reported that wary of giving the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party a handle to beat it with in upcoming Assembly elections for Delhi, the BJP could go slow on its talks with the PDP over government formation.
If the two fail to cobble together a coalition, or no other combination comes into power, before the January 19 deadline, the state could see a spell of Governor’s rule.