BJP sticks to ‘wait & watch’ as PDP yet to convene LP meet

The PDP, which was leading coalition partners with the BJP in previous coalition Government, is yet to convene its Legislature Party meeting to elect Mehbooba Mufti as the leader before formally staking claim for formation of new Government in the State.
The BJP, meanwhile, continued to stick to ‘wait and watch policy’ on the ground that the PDP had to take first step towards the Government formation by electing Mehbooba Mufti as the Legislature Party leader.
BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav, Incharge Jammu and Kashmir, has made it clear that the BJP wants power sharing agreement with the PDP to continue.
Insiders in the BJP told that the party was waiting for the election of the PDP Legislature Party leader before taking its next decision.
“We want the Government with PDP to continue but it was up to them to convene their Legislature Party meeting and elect Mehbooba Mufti as the leader before we formally extend our support to her as the new Chief Minister,” they said.
The PDP hasn’t called its Legislature Party meeting so far though senior party leaders including legislators had met at Mehbooba’s Fairview residence in Srinagar last evening after ‘congregational fateha’ of Mufti Sayeed and declared Ms Mufti as “uncontested and undisputed” leader of the party.
The PDP leaders were not sure as to when Mehbooba Mufti, who also happens to be the PDP president, would call the Legislature Party meeting.
BJP leaders were of the view that they can endorse the leadership of Ms Mufti for the Chief Ministership only after she was elected as PDP Legislature Party leader.
“After Mehbooba is elected as PDP Legislature Party leader, only then she can be elected as leader of PDP and BJP joint Legislature Party before the two parties stake claim to form the Government before the Governor,” the party leaders said.
PTI adds from New Delhi: Meanwhile, BJP today put the ball in PDP’s court saying the Mehbooba Mufti-led party has to take the first call and made it clear that it wanted the existing power-sharing arrangement between the two parties to continue.
BJP general secretary Ram Madhav also rejected as “mere speculation” the reports that both parties have put up fresh conditions and asserted that no political discussion had started between them as Mehbooba was in deep mourning following her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s death last week.
Asked about the uncertainty, he said, “PDP can answer this question. They have to think about the process they have to complete from their side. It is for PDP to take the first call from their side. They have to decide about their leader and come forward. I hope they take a decision soon so that this kind of uncertainty ends.”
To a query that if BJP expected a smooth takeover by a new PDP-BJP Government, he said, “I am tempted to say it will be smooth. We will like to know what they are thinking. PDP has to be forthcoming.”
Late Chief Minister Sayeed, following whose death the State has been brought under Governor’s Rule, had a “grand vision” for the J and K’s development which resulted in the alliance between the two parties, Madhav told reporters.
“We had an alliance months ago with the grand vision of the State’s development. We (BJP) are in favour of continuing that arrangement for the larger benefit of the State. It has been in the interest of the State and we want this to continue,” he said.
Madhav had played a key role in bringing about his party’s alliance with PDP.  A section of PDP is said to be unhappy with the tie-up and wants Mehbooba, who is likely to be her party’s Chief Ministerial candidate, to review it.
Asked about Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s meeting with Mehbooba, which has fuelled political speculation, Madhav quipped, “What transpired (between them) I do not know but I am tempted to believe that it was to express condolence.”
With the mourning period over yesterday, BJP expects political discussion within PDP to start now following which it will respond accordingly, he said.

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