Omar Abdullah rules out unilateral support to PDP in J&K govt formation

As suspense mounted over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tonight ruled out the party's unilateral support to PDP from outside in any new dispensation with Congress backing.

PTI| Last Updated: Jan 12, 2016, 00:16 AM IST

Srinagar: As suspense mounted over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tonight ruled out the party's unilateral support to PDP from outside in any new dispensation with Congress backing.

Omar, a former chief minister who was the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's predecessor, also regretted the political uncertainty in the state where some people are "fishing in troubled waters" and asserted that an "accountable government" should be in place at the earliest. The state, where PDP is in alliance with BJP, is currently under Governor's rule.

"I had made an offer of support to Mufti sahab and the PDP in the immediate aftermath of the assembly elections about 12 months ago. That offer of support was turned down by PDP on the basis of a certain reading of the situation.

The way I see it, that situation has not changed. Therefore the logic or reasoning that led to Mufti Sahab turning down our offer stands true today as well. So I don't see why I should be making any fresh approaches to the PDP for any sort of understanding or working relationship," Omar told Karan Thapar on India Today TV.

Omar replied in the affirmative when asked whether he won't offer support unilaterally a second time.

"If there is a change of thinking within the PDP, then it is for them to reflect back, not for me," he said.

To a question, Omar said the best reason for maintaining the existing PDP-BJP alliance at the moment is for the two contituents to pay respect to Mufti Sayeed, the architect of that alliance.

"Any attempt to change the shape, size and form of what Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was leading would be to admit that he was wrong and that will be his lasting legacy and nothing else," Omar said.

Even after the end of mourning period after the death of Mufti Aayeed, there were no indications today about how soon a new government would be formed with his daughter and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti maintaining suspense and BJP saying it will wait for the ally to make the first move amid its wish to see the existing power-sharing arrangement to continue.

Asked what would be his reponse if Congress President Sonia Gandhi seeks his support for a new coalition, Omar said, "I would be very surprised, in fact I would be downright amazed if I was to receive a phone call of that sort."

"Getting into the realm of the hypothetical now. Nothing that I have seen or heard would suggest to me that Mrs Gandhi would be making any such approach. I don't believe that she would want to capitalise on the misfortune or grief that Mehbooba and her party find themselves in." Omar said.

"From what little I know of Mrs Sonia Gandhi, politics and the possiblity of breaking up the PDP-BJP alliance would have been the last thing on her mind, when she came to Srinagar," Omar said.

"There are low level functionaries in Congress who would like to have you believe that this was more political than a humanitarian gesture. Don't believe even an iota of politics in Mrs Gandhi's intentions," he added.

Omar also said absence of an elected government was making decision making in the state complicated.

Amid speculation about PDP seeking fresh assurances from BJP, Omar said the two allies should be agreed in following their pact in letter and spirit.