BJP on Sunday said it was in touch with several PDP legislators who were in favour of government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, but added it will “never” accept new conditions for alliance put forth by Mehbooba Mufti.
“Several PDP legislators who are in favor of the formation of the government in the state and who also don’t want midterm polls in the state are in touch with the BJP leadership for the formation of the government,” BJP legislator Ravinder Raina said.
The Nowshera MLA said the party would stick to the Agenda of Alliance that had been agreed upon with PDP a year ago, adding that any deviation would amount to disrespecting former late Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. “There is no question of accepting the new conditions laid down by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before the BJP for the formation of government in Jammu and Kashmir. I have come to know that she (Mehbooba) has put forth new conditions, but BJP will never accept them. We will strictly follow the Agenda of Alliance that was agreed upon between the two parties a year ago,” he said.
He said BJP has “several options” to form government in the state, if the alliance with PDP breaks down, but would disclose them “when the time comes”. The need of the hour for both the alliance partners (PDP and BJP) was to form government based on mutual trust and respect the aspirations of the people of Jammu and the people of Kashmir regions, he said. “People of Jammu gave a thumping majority to BJP while people of Kashmir voted for PDP, hence it is time for both the parties to provide a democratically elected government to the people, as Governor’s rule is no substitute to it,” Raina said.
Asked whether the BJP would encourage defection within PDP, he said that his party would do no such thing. “More than half of the legislators who were elected to the assembly are first timers and none of them want midterm polls. If the PDP does not come ahead to form the government we will explore other options,” he said.
Raina said BJP will not “surrender” its ideology and would follow its “nationalistic policies”, including in Jammu and Kashmir. “Area wise and population wise Jammu is far bigger than Kashmir valley, but we have less number of assembly seats, we will continue to fight for the delimitation of the assembly seats, we will continue to fight for the refugees from west Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK),” he said.