Minutes after breaking a sensational political scoop regarding a likely upcoming meeting between former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and former UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Republic TV has ascertained from sources that serious talks and efforts are ongoing between the Congress and the PDP to form a majority in the state.
As per sources, senior leaders of the two parties are in touch and the Congress party is making efforts, not only to form an alliance with the PDP, but also to get the help of small parties and independents. As things stand, the PDP is the biggest party in the state with 28 seats in the 87-seat assembly while its former ally, the BJP, has 25 seats. The Omar Abdullah-led JKNC has 15 seats while the Congress has 12. Seven seats are with 'Others'.
A potential Congress-PDP alliance would have 40 seats -- four short of the 44 seats required for a majority. As a solution for this, sources claim that the Congress and PDP are looking for support from the following MLAs:
Perhaps to take this forward, the Congress leadership is expected to hold a meeting of its MLAs in Srinagar on July 3. The meeting will be attended by, among others, Ambika Soni and Ghulam Nabi Azad.
However, Azad, who had played an important role in bringing together the Congress and JD(S) in Karnataka, had earlier said that the Congress wouldn't ally with the PDP now or in the future. JKNC chief Omar Abdullah had also claimed that he wasn't interested in forming a government in the state as his party didn't have a mandate. Abdullah has called for the assembly to be dissolved and fresh elections to be held.
Governor's rule has been imposed in India's north-most state after the stunning events of June 19 when the BJP withdrew support to the Mehbooba Mufti-led government causing it to fall.