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.
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.
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.
ALSO READ: Mehbooba’s ex-husband working actively to derail PDP-BJP govt?
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
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