March 2016 News

Govt On, Off, On: Mehbooba In Delhi For 'crucial' Talks With PM

21 March 2016
The Indian Express
Bashaarat Masood and Arun Sharma

Srinagar: With the BJP not ready to meet her conditions until the PDP returns the alliance to power in Jammu and Kashmir, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti left for New Delhi Monday and is likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 'Tuesday is very crucial,' a senior PDP leader told The Indian Express. 'A final call on government formation will likely be taken tomorrow.' While the BJP has said it will not accept new conditions for government formation, the PDP has maintained it only wants the BJP to 'respect the Agenda of Alliance' between the two when they got together in the state a year ago to form a government. NC leader Omar Abdullah, who met Governor N N Vohra in Jammu Monday, told reporters that his party was not in favour of fresh polls in the state but he would prefer that over horse-trading. 'For God's sake, decide yes or no. The state has been waiting for a government for the last two and half months,' Omar said. 'We are ready to sit in the opposition if they (PDP and BJP) are ready to form the government. In the event of their not coming together, and if PDP does not take the support of Congress, then polls are the only option left,' he said. 'There is an effort right now to gather support independent of Mehbooba Mufti. I think rushing to Delhi is her last ditch effort to save her party because she realises if she does not form the government on the terms and conditions set by BJP, her party will split and if her party splits, then she will be in a much weaker position than she is today,' he said. Meanwhile, independent legislator Engineer Rashid met Mehbooba Mufti. 'Yes, I met her,' Rashid told The Indian Express. 'I was there to offer condolences (on Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's death). I think, you should not read more into this meeting'. But the meeting fuelled speculation that efforts were also on to look at a possible non-BJP government - PDP with support of the Congress and independents - in the state. The PDP is under pressure from many of its own MLAs not to give up power, especially at a time when the party's popularity has taken a knocking.