Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday confirmed the grand alliance with the National Conference (NC) and the Congress, saying the PDP is faxing a letter to Governor Satya Pal Malik with the support of 56 candidates in the 87-member house. According to reports, PDP will lead the grand alliance in a bid to form the next government in the Governor-ruled state. The purpose behind this far-reaching realignment of political forces is to defend the Article 35A in the Supreme Court in January 2019. While the PDP has 29 seats in the state Assembly, the National Conference and the Congress have 15 and 12 respectively.
Taking to twitter Mufti on Wednesday wrote, "Have been trying to send this letter to Rajbhavan. Strangely the fax is not received. Tried to contact HE Governor on phone. Not available. Hope you see it @jandkgovernor".
The two-paragraph letter, therefore, proves that the regional enmity between the National Conference, led by Abdullah, and the PDP, led by Mufti, has come to an end in an attempt to keep the BJP out of the state.
"Priority is to safeguard the special status of Jammu and Kashmir," the PDP chief told reporters.
Earlier there were reports that senior PDP leader and former finance minister Altaf Bukhari is the front-runner for the chief minister's post. Though PDP president Mehbooba Mufti wanted Farooq Abdullah to lead the alliance, National Conference has decided not to be a part of the government and support the PDP-Congress alliance from outside.
“The alliance would likely be announced by the evening and after that, the alliance partners would meet the Governor and stake claim,” Indian Express quoted a senior PDP leader.
The leader further said while the three major political parties have decided to cobble alliance there is every apprehension that the Centre would ask the Governor to dissolve the Assembly, thus stalling the process. “We are happy both ways,” he added.
The previous government headed by the Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti fell when its partner BJP pulled out of the ruling coalition on June 16.