Srinagar: A meeting between BJP’s Kashmir tactician Ram Madhav and Sajjad Lone of the Peoples Conference in Srinagar has fuelled speculations that a surprise may be in store on the political front.
Madhav along with BJP legislators Ravindra Raina, Sat Sharma, Sunil Sharma and Kavinder Gupta met Sajjad Lone, who was minister in the PDP-BJP government on the BJP’s quota, on Wednesday afternoon in Srinagar. Sources said that they discussed means of cobbling together a flock of legislators from different parties to form a government. The meeting took place soon after Madhav arrived in Srinagar and drove straight to Raj Bhavan from the airport.
“With J&K former ministers of BJP and PC (Sajjad Lone) in Srinagar discussing about the roadmap for the state,” tweeted Madhav along with the photo.
Sources privy to the meeting said that the modalities of forming a new state government were discussed threadbare in the meeting with Sajjad Lone.
Madhav and PDP leader Haseeb Drabu were credited for the alliance of PDP and BJP after the 2014 elections. In the past four years, the duo would iron out differences on a range of issues. But Madhav was the one who announced the BJP’s pull-out from the government, without giving his alliance partner a whiff of it. The embarrassment was more acute for chief minister Mehbooba Mufti who was working in office when the decision was announced to her.
The meeting with Lone gains significance as BJP leaders have been saying they are not keen on fresh polls.
Within the BJP, there is no hesitation about forming a government, as they argue, “nothing is impossible in politics”.
“You see… J&K is under Governor’s rule… Who doesn’t want democracy to be back on track in Jammu and Kashmir?” a source in the BJP said.
Senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta did not deny the possibility of forming a new government. He said, “If you get a chance to form a government, what is wrong in that?”
The BJP has 25 seats in the legislative assembly. The People’s Conference led by Sajjad Gani Lone represents two seats from northern Kashmir.
Sources in the BJP told Kashmir Reader that the situation in Kashmir is not good for elections, so the party will strive to improve the situation
“Honestly, the situation in Kashmir is not conducive for polls. Let us concentrate on that first and then we will decide on elections,” a former cabinet minister in the BJP-PDP government said.
He said that his party is hopeful that the situation in Valley would improve within a month under Governor’s rule.
Earlier, senior BJP leader and former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Kavinder Gupta, had said that the party will form the government after the situation improves under Governor’s rule.
After the fall of the PDP-BJP government, it was expected that assembly elections in the state might be held after a brief spell of Governor’s rule, or during the parliamentary elections scheduled next year. Governor NN Vohra had convened an All Party Meeting (APM) last Saturday to discuss the prevailing political and security situation in the state.
During the meeting, the National Conference and the Jammu-based National Panthers Party had demanded dissolution of the Legislative Assembly and holding of fresh polls, but the PDP and BJP remained silent on the issue.
Former chief minister Omar Abdullah has been stressing that the Legislative Assembly should be dissolved immediately and fresh elections be held.