J&K: Gov steps in to end uncertainty; PDP maintains suspense

Srinagar/Jammu, Feb 1 (PTI) With uncertainty over government formation prevailing for nearly a month, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra has stepped in to end it as he asked PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and state BJP chief Sat Pal Sharma to clarify their stand tomorrow.

PDP, meanwhile, maintained suspense even today as its Legislature Party met for the first time since the demise of the then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on January 7 but gave no clarity on whether Mehbooba was elected as its leader, a requirement for her formal projection as the Chief Ministerial candidate.

After the much-awaited meeting of PDP Legislature Party, which was seen with lot of expectations, party leader Naeem Akhtar (rpt) Naeem Akhtar only said that Mehbooba had been authorised to convey its point of view on government formation to the Governor.

He did not spell out as to what the party’s stand was or whether Mehbooba had been elected as Legislature Party leader.

Vohra has called Mehbooba and Sharma for separate meetings tomorrow to discuss the issue of government formation in the state which is under Governor’s Rule since January 8, imposed a day after Sayeed passed away.

“Yes, the Governor has called her (Mehbooba Mufti) for a meeting tomorrow,” PDP spokesman Naeem Akhter told PTI today.

According to sources, the Governor sent a communication by fax to the PDP Chief last evening for holding consultations.

Mehbooba will meet the Governor in the afternoon tomorrow after which Sharma will meet him.

“Yes, we are going to meet the Governor tomorrow in the evening,” Sharma said.

PDP, with 27 MLAs in the 87-member Assembly and BJP with 25 legislators, ran a coalition government headed by Sayeed for 10 months before his demise on January 7.

The Governor’s missive to the leaders of the two parties came after Mehbooba, who is seen as a successor to her father as Chief Minister, talked tough yesterday with regard to continuance of alliance with BJP.

The PDP chief had said she will take a call after “reassessing” whether ally BJP’s government at the Centre would take substantive steps in a “set timeframe” to address the “core” political and economic issues of the state.

In the wake of these developments, the state BJP’s core group met in Jammu and decided to consult the central leadership before meeting the Governor at 6 PM tomorrow.

Soon after, some state leaders of the party rushed to Delhi to meet BJP chief Amit Shah.

Earlier, after the core group meeting which discussed Mehbooba’s statement, BJP leaders said there was “no concrete” demand or condition from PDP but their party was committed to the implementation of “Agenda of Alliance” and address any issues that the ally may have.

State BJP President Sat Sharma said if any issue is raised by PDP, it can be resolved. .