Jammu: Even as the picture is not yet clear over which way the parties would align to form the new government in Jammu and Kashmir, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday struck a confident note saying, that the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) will play a pivotal role in the government formation and that the party held a 'veto power' in the state.
“Whoever forms the government, the BJP must have a crucial role. Earlier, the veto power was in the hands of the Congress and now it’s in the hands of the BJP,” Jaitley told a press conference.
Jaitley, who was deputed as central observer along with BJP national secretary Arun Singh, flew in here this morning and met MLAs separately as well as collectively.
Addressing a press conference after a meeting of the newly-elected MLAs, the BJP's central observer said that a number of options are open to forming government in J&K.
Explaining the highest popular mandate for the party, Jaitley said BJP won 25 out of the 76 seats it contested where as the other major parties contested all the 87 seats.
"Our votes is higher than those who have contested all the seats. Our strike rate is high. We have the highest popular vote. We have an overwhelming mandate in the Jammu region while the Valley has been divided between PDP (25 seats), National Conference (15) and Independents (5)."
Jaitley's press conference came hours after the BJP denied reports that its leadership had held discussions with National Conference (NC) on government formation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Scotching speculation that it may support BJP in forming a new Government in Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference(NC) too, ruled out such a possibility citing fundamental differences between the two parties.
Omar Abdullah clarified on Thursday that there was no discussion going on between the two parties.
Omar posted on the micro-blogging site Twitter: “So many stories doing the rounds about a BJP-NC deal. Let me say this as strongly as possible – There is no deal nor any discussion going on.”
There were persistent reports that the outgoing Chief Minister and NC working President Omar Abdullah met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi last night but BJP denied that.
Amid media reports that the outgoing chief minister Omar Abdullah had met BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi last night, party general secretary Ram Madhav tweeted, "News about BJP leaders meeting NC leadership in Delhi baseless".
Meanwhile, PDP, which has remained silent since the polls results came three days ago, had started exploring the possibility of a coalition government with Congress which has 12 members and other independent candidates.
BJP, on its part, also started approaching PDP with Madhav meeting People's Conference leader Sajad Lone at a hotel in Kashmir and PDP leader and MP Muzzafar Hussain Baig at his residence.
With PTI Inputs