Suspense stays: Sources say 80% of leaders want to snap ties with right-wing party
Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti is facing pressure from within the party to snap ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party and form the government with the support of the Congress and a few Independent MLAs.
Most of the PDP leaders expressed this desire during the last night meeting, which was chaired by Mehbooba.
Sources in the PDP said around 80 per cent of the leaders wanted to snap ties with the right-wing BJP and come out of this unconventional marriage which had cost the PDP on the ground. “There are ample indications from the Congress that it is not averse to supporting the PDP and forming the government. The PDP has got the opportunity to get back its lost glory, which has diminished from the ground after allying with the BJP,” said a source.
“Though these leaders have left the final decision with the party president but most of them are eagerly waiting to snap ties with the BJP,” the source said.
When people gave a fractured mandate during the 2014 Assembly elections and the PDP emerged as the single largest party with maximum seats from the Kashmir valley, the BJP swept the Jammu region and got 25 of the 37 seats. When the state was caught in a difficult situation with ideologies of both parties not meeting at any point, the late Mufti Sayeed took the historic step of “bringing the North Pole and South Pole together” and formed the coalition government with the BJP on March 1, 2015, after a two-month-long deliberation.
But on the ground this didn’t go well with the people of the Kashmir valley who have always been adverse to the ideology of the BJP and didn’t want to see them sharing the seat of power. Though the PDP said the alliance was the need of the hour but it started losing its credibility in its strongholds in the Valley.
“This was visible during Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s funeral procession when not many people came to pay their last respects to one of the tallest leader of the state who always stood for democracy, nationalism and secularism. This came as an eye-opener for the PDP which mainly depends on votes from the Valley to win seats and form the government,” said a PDP leader, wishing anonymity.
All eyes are now on Mehbooba to take the final call and decide which way to go as the state came under Governor’s Rule on January 8, a day after Mufti’s death.
There are talks doing the rounds that the Congress is open to supporting the PDP from outside as well as from inside by being part of the government. “The PDP has got feelers from the Congress party, which wants to offer unconditional support. But first they want Mehbooba to clear her stand on the government formation. As far as allying with the BJP is concerned, the PDP is waiting for the saffron party’s reply on the conditions set by Mehbooba,” the source added.