Hours before Governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the J&K Assembly Wednesday, the Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti had confirmed that talks were on between the Congress, National Conference and her party over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Quoting the PDP chief,that “The proposed alliance would work towards protecting Article 35A and stop any tinkering with the laws concerning political identity of the state”.
“Talks are on and it will take some time to cobble a proposed political combination between PDP, NC and Congress for formation of a new government in Jammu and Kashmir,” Mehbooba said.
She said: “We granted an opportunity to BJP for a bigger motive but it didn’t fall in agreement with our agenda. Our intent was to use a big mandate for a big purpose to bring the people J&K out of the difficulties they are facing since last several decades but they pulled out following differences with us on our agenda over Jammu and Kashmir.”
In reply to a question, Mehbooba told the news agency: “The alliance would work for protecting Article 35A, tinkering with the laws concerning political identity of J&K as the Governor’s administration is nowadays randomly amending the laws concerning the state’s special status. The BJP has started engineering defections in other parties for furtherance of its political motives and we three parties—NC, PDP and Congress—have decided to come together, setting aside our differences on some issues, for protection of Article 35A and stop horse-trading.”
About the choice for the chief minister’s post, Mehbooba said: “PDP will discuss the issue with its legislators, senior leaders and even grassroots workers and name the chief ministerial candidate with consensus. It will take some time.”
Asked about PDP co-founder Muzaffar Baig’s statement yesterday about his joining a possible “third front”, Mehbooba said: “I won’t talk on this issue.”
‘GOOD NEWS SOON’
Earlier in the day, senior Peoples Democratic Party leader and former finance minister Syed Altaf Bukhari said that the people in Jammu and Kashmir will soon get a ‘good news’ as the PDP, Congress and National Conference have “decided to join hands to form the government”.
“There is a progress (on the talks) among the three parties. Keeping in view the political situation and special status of the state, the three parties have decided to join hands.
He said the PDP, Congress and NC decided to join hands and form a government to “defend the special status” of the state.“Articles 370 and 35A are our main issues. All this is being done to safeguard them,” he said.
Bukhari said an announcement regarding the talks and the alliance will be shared soon with the people.Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had also confirmed that talks were going on among the three parties over government formation in the state.
“Hum parties ka yeh kehna tha ki kyu na hum ikatthe ho jaye aur sarkar banaye. Abhi vo stage sarkar banne wali nahi hai, ek sujhaav ke taur par baatcheet abhi chal rahi hai (NC, Congress, PDP thought why not to unite and form a government together. Talks are going on but as of now it is only a suggestion…We haven’t reached that stage yet where we can form the government),” said azad.