Srinagar: All eyes are on Thursday’s crucial Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) legislature party meet that will be held over the government formation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Top PDP sources told Media Sources that the meeting will start at 4 p.m. at the Fairview residence of paryt chief Mehbooba Mufti.
“Mehbooba will apprise the legislators of her party about the developments including her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this week,” a PDP source said.
ALSO READ: All you need to know about Mehbooba!
“The party will deliberate on its future course of action with regard to government formation in the state.”
The PDP legislature party had authorised Mehbooba to take a call on the government formation in the state, but the party had not nominated her as the leader in the state legislature, a constitutional requirement before she can stake claim to power in the state.
Sources in the party said during its course of deliberation on Thursday, the PDP legislature party is likely to elect Mehooba as its leader.
This dispels media speculations that she had decided to allow some other confidante to be nominated as the legislature party leader so that she could continue as the party president and also as the member of the Lok Sabha.
Party insiders say it is highly unlikely that Mehbooba would stand down from her claim to chief ministership and allow somebody else to don the mantle because that could create infighting in the party.
“She is the undisputed leader of the party. Nobody else is. It has to be her,” said a senior PDP leader and former minister here.
Mehbooba represents south Kashmir’s Anantnag constituency in the Lok Sabha.
If she gets elected as the leader of the state legislature party, the way would be paved for her to become the first woman chief minister of India’s only Muslim majority state.
In that case, she will have to get elected to either house of the state’s bicameral legislature and also resign her Lok Sabha seat.
Has Mehbooba keeled over to BJP’s strong stonewalling of re-negotiation demand?
Well if you ask, ex-CM Omar Abdullah, he would come up with a number of statistics. His Twitter handle is full of tweets for Mehbooba (not in her praise although) Her indecisiveness over government formation is no news. But with the Latest Ram Madhav Interview with Indian Express, BJP appeared to have an upper hand in the whole scenario.
ALSO READ: Omar and Mehbooba’s twitter feud
On asking Madhav, if difficulty in forming the J&K government is a setback for BJP, he replied that the party is in favor of continuation of the government that was formed a year back on the basis of Common minimum programme called the agenda of governance. The only difference at the ground level, he said, is that honourable chief minister Mufti Sayeed is no more. “It means the PDP has to select another leader. Beyond that, no other changes exist in our arrangement. The PDP has a different view about the situation. We have conveyed to them we are ready to support them with same governance agenda. But beyond that anything can be discussed only after the formation of the government.””, Madhav added.
No New Conditions from PDP accepted: Ram Madhav
Meanwhile, Mehbooba surprised everyone at her home-town Bijbehara as she appeared to offer Fatiha at her late father’s grave. Se was accompanied by one of her daughters. Mehbooba’s visiting her father’s grave today, assumes significance as she is going to chair one of the most important meeting in her political career with the party legislatures later in the day to decide about the government formation with right wing Bhartya Janata Party BJP.
Mehbooba’s father and former chief minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed breathed his last on January 7. Governor’s rule was implemented in J&K a day after his demise.
Excerpts from Ram Madhav Interview with The Indian Express regarding alliance:
What’s the crux of the problem?
PDP should understand that the agenda of governance was drafted by both of us for six years. Neither party can come back and say I want more assurances. We have been in power for eight months. Unfortunately, Mufti Saheb passed away. There was a constitutional requirement on the part of PDP to select another leader and take the agenda forward.
Why don’t you be a little accommodating?
You know it’s a very difficult alliance. It is called alliance of enemies or you may call adversaries. I don’t call it alliance of enemies. We decided to respect the mandate of the people. We have core ideological differences. We formulated the governance programme…Unfortunately things have changed on PDP side, not on our side.
You are talking to Omar Abdullah?
We are not talking to anybody. I don’t know about PDP. As far as we are concerned, we have been talking to PDP, seriously. We have been very accommodating. Mehbooba has been asking for a few new terms. I am again saying that the arrangement between two parties was that we had a governance agenda. That means you have to have the government to implement or change the agenda of governance. I am again saying that once BJP-PDP government is formed together we can ask for more. But without forming the government there is no agenda of any kind. The agenda we had was not private agenda that you can discuss outside the government.
Has the debate over nationalism, Azadi, Afzal Guru and JNU, hardened your position?
The debate over JNU etc began just a month ago. The stalemate between our two parties has been since the demise of Mufti Saheb. At that time, there was no such nationalism debate.
When Mehbooba Mufti met Amit Shah, what were her main demands?
It was one-on-one meeting. But our stand is consistent. Once the government is formed the state can ask for more funds and more support. But, first of all there has to be a government there.
What’s your reading of Mehbooba Mufti? Why is she reluctant to form the government?
I don’t know. I have no idea. Let me repeat again. Nothing has changed for us except the sad demise of Mufti Saheb. When he passed away there should have been another leader carrying on the business. You are making it sound simple but it’s not so simple. People can make out. Yes. If it would have been so simple there would have been a government by now. We are saying: to agree or not agree to new demands is the matter between two governments. The government of State and government of Centre.
What’s so wrong on the part of Mehbooba to ask for a few things when she is losing ground in her party’s core constituency?
At her father’s funeral, only a few thousand people came. Her worry is understandable? Again I will repeat. It is not a one-party government in J&K. People have elected two parties to the power. Namely BJP and PDP. Together, if they want more, yes, the government of India can consider it. How can just one party demand anything? Together we can.
This is a bit tough because Mehbooba is coming to the government for the first time. She may look for more security, it’s a legitimate demand?
May be on her part. Let me correct you. She is not a new entrant. She has been an MP. She was indirect part and parcel of the previous arrangement headed by her father. She was fully aware of the two-party arrangement. – See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/talks-dont-happen-at-pm-level-but-at-partys-ram-madhav/#sthash.A0azZeSy.dpuf