Govt formation: PDP likely to decide on Monday

Govt formation: PDP likely to decide on Monday

JAMMU: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is set to decide in its legislature party meeting on Monday whether it will form a coalition government with BJP again.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti held a two-hour-long meeting with the party legislators who were present in Jammu and discussed issues related to government formation in detail.
Sources said the legislators wanted Mehbooba to seek concrete assurances from New Delhi before taking over the reins of power.
“We told Mehbooba Ji that BJP must ensure that nothing that has communal overtones or issues which could cause PDP embarrassment among its electorate should happen. There is no need to hurry. Let us weight what New Delhi offers,” said a PDP leader who attended the meeting, requesting anonymity.
“She said that she would not let New Delhi play with emotions and sentiments of people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the leader added.
He said that the alliance with BJP is intact but government formation would be possible only after New Delhi gives concrete assurances on implementing the agenda of alliance which was agreed with ex-Chief Minister Late Mufti Mohammed Sayeed.

Our president has already said whatever was to be said about government formation. I have nothing more to add. This was a normal meeting where legislators met with the party president. Not much should be read into this meeting
—Naeem Akhtar

“We have to go back to people. They were not happy with us for shaking hands with BJP for government formation. If New Delhi does not consider our request for a genuine financial package for J&K we have no reason to sit on the chair. That is why this delay in government formation,” added the PDP leader.
The leader said election of Mehbooba Mufti as PDP legislative party leader in the meeting on March 7, scheduled to be held in Srinagar, will set in motion the government formation in the state provided New Delhi also responds to Mehbooba’s demands.
“If New Delhi does not respond then we will not mind going back to the electorate,” said the leader.
Former minister and PDP MLA Choudhary Zulfiqar said the government formation with the BJP will take place only after the party provides a concrete “time frame” for implementing the Agenda for Alliance.
“We have conveyed our point of view to BJP leadership. We are asking for a timeline. We are waiting for their response. Let them respond,” Zulfiqar said, while entering the guest house for meeting PDP President Mehbooba Mufti.
However, indicating that BJP was not relenting anytime soon, former deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh said the government should be formed in the state “without wasting time”.
His statement comes a day after People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti dropped hints of going ahead with it if the “government of India assures that people of the state will be benefited”.
Singh added the people want them to form the government as they have suffered a lot during the Congress regime.
“It took two months to prepare the Agenda for Alliance,” he said about the efforts made when the coalition was firmed up between the two parties in March last year.