Srinagar: Mehbooba Mufti is playing the waiting game in Jammu and Kashmir and keeping everyone else on tenterhooks!
Amid reports that the PDP-BJP alliance has come under strain following the demise of state chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Mehbooba has given ample indications that she is in no hurry to take over as the chief minister.
While the BJP has hinted that it has no problem in supporting Mehbooba for chief ministership, many within the party have mooted the idea of rotational CM.
The PDP, however, has rejected that idea.
Speculation of strains in the alliance were fuelled further after Congress president Sonia Gandhi met Mehbooba in Srinagar. It may be recalled that the PDP and Congress have ruled J&K in coalition in the past.
The Times of India quoted PDP member Naeem Akhtar as saying that the formation of the government in the state would depend upon how early party president Mehbooba would come out of shock and assess the political situation and decide the future course.
At present, President's Rule has been imposed in Jammu and Kashmir in the absence of a chief minister.
While both PDP and BJP have rejected reports of any strain in the alliance, sources said Mehbooba is waiting for a formal commitment from the BJP that it would not press for rotational chief ministership.
The coalition government was running smoothly till Mufti Sayeed's demise, but there is now buzz in the state's political circles regarding PDP's list of complaints against BJP.
These range from the Centre 'choking financial aid' to the state, to PM Narendra Modi not attending Mufti's funeral, the Times of India reported.
The PDP is also upset that PM Modi could not find time to visit an ailing Mufti Sayeed when he was admitted in AIIMS for 15 days.
According to party sources, BJP floated demands of rotational chief ministership and more portfolios in the government within hours of the PDP leader's demise and this upset Mehbooba.
The BJP has, however, denied putting up any new demands.
"The delay in the formation of the government is from PDP's side, and we are waiting a call from them," BJP's Nirmal Singh, who was deputy CM in the Mufti Sayeed government, said.
"We have no differences with the PDP and never put fresh conditions. What's agreed on in the CMP , the BJP will abide by that. Mehbooba Mufti is still mourning and the moment we get the call from her, we will respond accordingly," Singh added.