The National Conference (NC), the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and the Congress are in talks to form a coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir frustrating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s efforts to prop up a government headed by Sajjad Lone's People Conference, according to a News 18 report. The PDP has 28 MLAs, followed by NC with 15 and Congress with 12 which will take them well ahead of the majority mark of 44.
Lone, a former separatist, was successful in breaking away National Conference's spokesman Junaid Muttu, who recently contested the Urban Local Body polls to become the mayor of Srinagar.
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The coalition talks hold the potential to trigger far-reaching realignment of political forces in Jammu and Kashmir and envisages an alliance between PDP and Congress, which have been partners in a government between 2002 and 2007, backed from outside by the National Conference, PTI reported.
The National Conference has made it clear that they were not interested in joining a coalition government but would not be averse to giving outside support to a PDP-Congress coalition, News 18 reported.
On Tuesday, Muzaffar Hussain Baig, senior PDP leader and former Member of Parliament, said he would leave the party if the third front emerges, which is also what the Peoples Conference-led by Sajad Lone is aiming at in the state. Baig targeted the PDP and the National Conference leaderships for its decision to boycott the local body elections. According to Baig, the PDP has failed to live up to its vision.
Beig’s statement was welcomed by Lone. Taking to micro blogging site Twitter, Lone wrote, “I am humbled by Muzaffar Beigh Sahib’s statement. A person of his stature, experience and intellect can be the defining attribute of the emerging third party @JKPC_ I remember him as my favourite uncle during my childhood. I was his pampered brat. (sic)”
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Jammu and Kashmir at present is under Governor’s Rule which will end on December 19. A President’s Rule may be imposed thereafter but the 87-member Assembly is not being dissolved, according to Governor Satyapal Mallik.