Amid confusion, governor calls PDP, BJP for talks (Roundup)

Jammu/Sringaar, Dec 26 (IANS) Amid persistent uncertainty following a fractured verdict, Governor N.N. Vohra Friday invited both the PDP and the BJP for talks over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Raj Bhavan sources told IANS that Vohra had written separate letters to the Peoples Democratic Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party which have won 28 and 25 seats respectively in the 87-member assembly.
The governor wanted leaders of the two parties to explore possibilities of forming a government in the country’s only Muslim-majority state, the sources said.
The sources added that Vohra had invited the BJP also because of its claims that it had the support of six of the seven independents elected to the legislature.
The term of the outgoing assembly ends Jan 16.
The development comes even as the National Conference reiterated its support to a PDP government after its own parleys with the BJP drew flak from within its ranks.
Outgoing Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said his National Conference had offered support to the PDP for government formation but had not given any written commitment.
“Looks like PDP is playing mind games with the BJP (by) leaking about a letter of (our) support that doesn’t exist,” he tweeted. “Only a verbal offer conveyed.”
National Conference spokesman Junaid Azim Mattoo told IANS that his party had extended support to the PDP through a statement made by Abdullah three days back.
“There need not be any written communication to confirm the offer.
“The statement made by Omar sahib is formal enough, and it now for the PDP to accept it or not. It is for them to come out with what they want to do,” he added.
Sajjad Lone, whose Peoples Conference won two seats, Friday told CNN-IBN that a BJP government would help the state have a better connect with the Narendra Modi government.
The former separatist said his party had nothing in common with the PDP or the National Conference. He also asked the Congress to stay away from government formation.
The National Conference won 15 seats and its former ally, the Congress 12. Seven seats went to independents and smaller parties.
In New Delhi, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress urged the BJP to take care of the “sensitivity” of the people of the state before plunging into government formation.
“It is very sad there was a fractured mandate… What I am concerned about is that BJP is being insensitive as far as Jammu and Kashmir is concerned,” he said.
“They (BJP leaders) have camped in Srinagar. What is the rush?” he asked.
Azad cited the example of late prime minister Indira Gandhi who made way for National Conference leader Sheikh Abdullah to be the chief minister although the Congress had a majority.
He also said that a PDP-National Conference-Congress combination would be good for the state.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist meanwhile called for a “secular government” in the state.
“The formation of the government has become complicated because of the nature of the result and a hung assembly,” it said.
It alleged that the BJP “is trying to impose its political design in the formation of the government.
“This should be resisted in the interests of the unity of the state and safeguarding its special status.
“It is imperative that a secular government is formed in Jammu and Kashmir and the secular forces should rise to the occasion keeping in mind the larger interests of the unity and integrity of our country.”
The CPI-M has one member in the assembly.