Mehbooba praises Modi, still shaky on govt formation
PDP president, Mehbooba Mufti said that she would not assume the reins of power in J&K unless it is certain that peace and prosperity would come to the common man. She also praised PM Modi and said India was a tolerant country for letting voices of dissent like those in JNU, be heard. She said she sought concrete measures to ensure stability in J&K.
BJP-PDP alliance in J&K
The alliance between BJP and People's Democratic Party for Government Formation in Jammu & Kashmir was formed on 27 February 2015 and then Mufti Mohammad Sayeed became J&K's CM.
J&K CM passes away, daughter expected to take charge
J&K CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed died of multi-organ failure on 7 January 2016 in AIIMS, Delhi. It was assumed that his daughter would take his place as the state's CM after her father's demise. High-level party sources had confirmed that the swearing-in of Mehbooba Mufti would take place after the 4 days of mourning (from the day of Sayeed's demise) were over.
J&K under Governor's rule
Governor's rule came into effect in J&K because of the delay in the formation of the new government. This had to be imposed because of the hesitation of Mufti's daughter Mehbooba to take oath during the mourning period. This happened even after "her party has already conveyed to the Governor that 28 MLAs of the PDP legislature party backed her".
Why is Mehbooba upset with BJP?
Mehbooba Mufti's hesitation at taking charge as CM is being viewed by senior PDP sources as her anger with the way her father was treated by BJP. Modi's snubbing Sayeed in Srinagar over his idea on the India-Pakistan ties and late allocation of relief funds had angered PDP. Modi's not visiting Sayeed while he was battling in Delhi was also seen as a reason.
Abdullah says Mehbooba can't walk away from BJP
Speaking on Mehbooba's hesitation, Omar Abdullah said, "Mehbooba can't walk away from an alliance she helped create".
What are PDP's other options?
If PDP decides to break its alliance with BJP, Mehbooba could join forces with the Congress which would keep her vote bank intact. However, even then they "will be slightly short of majority of 44 in the 87-member legislative assembly" but could always attract 4 independent contenders from the J&K assembly. She could also get support from Omar Abdullah's party to keep BJP out.
PDP plays tough with BJP, seeks assurances
Sources in the PDP have hinted that Mehbooba Mufti will not be swearing-in unless the PDP gets a pledge from BJP's "highest level" that the "letter and spirit of the Agenda for Alliance will be respected and upheld." Sources said the reassurance should come from the Home Minister or the PM himself. PDP wants more support from BJP to take-forward the alliance in J&K.
Omar Abdullah pens an open letter to Mehbooba
Omar Abdullah, the National Conference leader and former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir penned an open letter to PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti asking for an explanation why she had not formed a government till now. In his letter, he mentions that if she was scared to do so, she should inform the Governor so that fresh elections could be held in the state.
Mehbooba sets new conditions for a coalition
PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti broke her silence on J&K's government formation and said she hoped BJP would honor the PDP-BJP "Agenda of Alliance." She added that the BJP will have to take substantive steps in a "set timeframe" to address "core" political and economic issues of J&K. She stated that she will decide only after being "convinced" of BJP's commitment to the state.
PDP hints that its ready to form govt
PDP official Naeem Akhtar said the PDP is not considering fresh elections in Jammu & Kashmir, in a strong indication that the party may be ready for government formation after weeks of dithering. He added that the "Government formation issue is under discussion." BJP general secretary Ram Madhav was due to visit Srinagar late last week for a meeting with PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti.
J&K govt unlikely until end of parliament session
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said only time can tell when the next government will be formed in the state. Mehbooba addressed the PDP workers' convention at the party headquarters before launching the party's national membership drive. Mehbooba's statement contradicts that of Ram Madhav, who had said the talks were positive and both parties were in favour of continuation of the arrangement.