With Mehbooba delaying the oath, Congress gets chance to fish in troubled waters
With Governor rule being imposed in Jammu and Kashmir, the Congress which had been overshadowed by the coalition has got an opportunity to fish in the troubled waters. Sources said Congress leadership is trying to woo the PDP out of the coalition with BJP as it has often termed this alliance as not a natural one and opposed to secular ethos of Kashmir. Sources said the party is suggesting an alliance with PDP without the NC, as it has got the support from some independent MLAs.
Earlier the party had floated the idea of grand alliance comprising the PDP, NC and Congress minus the BJP but it could not take off as this would have meant alienation of the entire Jammu region. While the PDP has 28 MLAs, the Congress has 12 MLAs and the party needs only the support of 4 more MLAs to cobble the needed strength of 44 in the 87 seats house.
The idea of grand alliance was mooted by Ghulam Nabi Azad but it was rejected by the former CM who had preferred to go with BJP. The PDP however might be more interested in continuing with the coalition as it could face possible fund crunch and lesser support from Modi government if it goes with the Congress. Notably to keep the BJP at bay from government, the NC had also offered unconditional support to the PDP ostensibly to maintain the secular character of the state polity. Things however have changed with Mufti’s death as BJP is now demanding it’s pound of flesh in the government, and has asked for more berths in the cabinet as well as important portfolios. This could however cause a rift in the coalition as PDP is no mood to accept the saffron demands, and consequently it also has given Congress a chance to fish in troubled waters.