Jammu: The upcoming Rajya Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir are likely to end the suspense over whether or not the BJP and the PDP would ally to form a government in the state.
Jammu and Kashmir was put under the governor`s rule on Jan 8 after neither the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which won 25 seats, nor the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with 28, staked claim to power despite the fact that were the single-largest parties, though short of a majority in the 87-member assembly.
Governor NN Vohra thus exercised his powers under section 92 of Jammu and Kashmir constitution to impose six-month long governor`s rule in the state.
Even after the imposition of governor`s rule, the PDP and the BJP said they were talking to each other although no structured dialogue on power sharing in the state has yet started between the two parties.
But an indication might be offered by how the two parties behave in the Rajya Sabha polls, after the Election Commission Monday announced elections to the four seats from the state will be held Feb 7.
The terms of Ghulam Nabi Azad and Professor Saifuddin Soz of the Congress and Muhammad Shafi Uri and Gulam Nabi Ratanpuri of the NC end in February this year.
Asked how could the newly elected legislators vote in the Rajya Sabha elections after they had not even been sworn in following the suspension of the assembly by the governor, state chief electoral officer Umang Narula quoted an apex court ruling that says members of a state assembly can vote in the Rajya Sabha elections even if the assembly is kept in suspended animation.
The litmus test for the PDP and the BJP over any future alliance would be whether the two join hands to vote unitedly in the Rajya Sabha poll, while it is highly unlikely that there would be any understanding on voting jointly during these elections between erstwhile allies, the National Conference and the Congress.
In the event of the PDP and the BJP joining hands, the NC and the Congress would not win a single seat out of the four.
In 2009 when the present Rajya Sabha members including Azad, Soz, Shafi and Ratanpuri were elected, the PDP, despite having 21 legislators, could not win a single seat because the Congress and the NC had voted jointly in that election.