Srinagar: Even after days of uncertainty, the suspense over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir continued unabated as Omar Abdullah-led National Conference offered to support the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but stopped short of formalising the proposal in writing.
After it was reported that the NC had formalised its support to PDP in 'writing' (as was demanded by the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led party), Omar took to Twitter to quash reports doing the rounds in media. He tweeted, "Looks like PDP is playing mind games with the BJP leaking about a letter of NC support that doesn't exist. Only a verbal offer conveyed (sic)."
Looks like PDP is playing mind games with the BJP leaking about a letter of NC support that doesn't exist. Only a verbal offer conveyed.
— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) December 26, 2014
"There has been no letter or any other written communication. We have conveyed an offer through an intermediary," he added, confirming that his party was not averse to supporting a PDP-led government in the state.
Contours of government formation have been hazy with both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and PDP trying hard to hammer out a workable arrangement with various stakeholders and the Jammu and Kashmir Governor calling both the parties for discussion on government formation in the state. Governor's Principal Secretary informed that letters had been sent to PDP chief and state BJP chief over the matter.
Vohra has sent letters separately to PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and state BJP chief Jugal Kishore "for holding discussions on the proposal for government-formation," a Raj Bhavan official said.
Speculation continued over PDP, with 28 members in the 87-member Assembly, either tying up with BJP having 25 members or aligning with Congress(12 MLAs) with outside support of 15-member National Conference.
The talks between PDP and BJP reportedly failed as both the parties were refusing to relent on their demand for the chief minister's post. The BJP had proposed that the parties have their own chief ministers for a period of 3 years each, but both demanded that their leader be made CM first.
BJP high-command had okayed the name of MoS Jitendra Singh as the party's CM candidate. However, sources said that Nirmal Singh would be BJP's leader in the Assembly in case the party's government formation plans fall through.
Sources added that BJP's talks with Omar Abdullah had been positive and the former J&K CM had agreed to the deputy chief minister's post, but talks fell through after his party MLAs threatened to quit if the National Conference allied with the saffron party.
Another PDP leader said that with the support of Congress and some Independents, the party will be in a position to reach the halfway mark of 44.
In Jammu, Congress spokesman Salman Nizami said the party was in touch with PDP and six other Independents to prevent BJP from coming to power in the state.
For the record, BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav said his party was holding consultations with all important stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir for providing a stable government.
The BJP leader, who has held a series of meetings with leaders of Valley-based political parties including PDP's Muzaffar Hussain Baig, said the Prime Minister had a grand vision for development of the state.
"To realise this dream, we have to provide a government that will put the state on development track," Madhav, who flew back to Delhi, said.
"We are meeting with all important stakeholders and our aim is to provide a stable and credible government," he told reporters here.
On his talks with PDP since his arrival here yesterday, Madhav said the talks were still at initial stages.
"PDP is an important stakeholder and has got a major mandate. Mufti (Mohammad Sayeed) has a five-decade long political career and is respected not only in the state but across the country.
"National Conference also has got substantial number of seats. It was part of the NDA during (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee's tenure (as Prime Minister)," he noted.
Madhav, however, skirted a question on which of the two parties would BJP prefer to ally with, saying it was not about the party but a choice of providing a stable and credible government.
(With Agency Inputs)