In a potentially far-reaching realignment of political forces in Jammu and Kashmir, the PDP, the National Conference and the Congress, the three major mainstream political parties are likely to join hands to form the next government in the Governor-ruled state, according to sources. The state has been under Governor's rule from the last few months which cannot be extended after it completes its six-month term on December 19. The development came a day after senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig threw his weight behind BJP ally Sajad Lone on Tuesday.
While the PDP has 28 seats in the state Assembly, the National Conference and the Congress has 15 and 12 respectively. The three parties together make it to 55 against the required number of 44 in the 87-member house.
As per the latest report, 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.