New Delhi, July 9: While talks are on among the BJP, Sajad Lone’s Peoples Conference and PDP rebels, reports say the chief minister’s post is the bone of contention. According to The Indian Express, the BJP is unrelenting as far as the CM’s post goes. “They see this a rare opportunity to get their own CM,” a source told the daily.Also Read - 'Thappad se Darr Nahi Lagta', Uddhav Thackeray on BJP MLC’s Remark Against Shiv Sena Bhavan
Meanwhile, sources within the PDP rebel camp have reportedly admitted, “At some point in the future, J-K may have a chief minister from the BJP, but this is not the time for it.” Also Read - Babul Supriyo Says Won't Join Any Party After Exit From BJP; Edits it Out Later
On the contenders to the CM’s post, BJP is reportedly batting for Union minister Jitendra Singh, a senior party leader from the Jammu region, while the other side has Lone on the mind. The Peoples Conference, which has two MLAs in the Assembly, has rallied behind rebel PDP legislators. Also Read - Babul Supriyo Quits Politics With 'Alvida' to Focus on Social Work
In a TV interview last weekend, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti had said, “If Delhi intervenes and breaks our party and makes Sajad Ghani Lone or whosoever chief minister, it will erode the trust of Kashmiris in Indian democracy. Any intervention from Delhi will be taken seriously.”
However, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav has denied that the party is in talks for a new government in the state. But senior PDP leaders admitted that 21 of their 28 MLAs could ally with the BJP. “If the Centre wants a new government, everything is irrelevant, especially when our legislators know that people are angry with them and militants are out to kill them,” a PDP leader said.
Five PDP legislators, Imran Reza Ansari, his uncle Abid Ansari, Abdul Majeed Padder, Abbas Wani and Javed Hassan Baig, have already revolted against party chief Mehbooba Mufti, accusing her of “turning the party into a family fiefdom”.
The PDP has 28 MLAs in the Assembly, the BJP (25), National Conference (15), Congress (12), Peoples Conference (2) and Independents. With Peoples Conference MLAs and an Independent legislator with it, the BJP needs 16 more legislators’ support to form the government.