A joint delegation of PDP and BJP leaders led by Mehbooba Mufti met Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra at Raj Bhawan, Jammu and staked claim to form the government. Mehbooba, after handing over the letter of support to form the government to Vohra, told the media that she was highly satisfied with assurances from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She also thanked the central leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party for supporting her unconditionally. She said she is going to write a new chapter of equitable development in J&K with the support of the Centre
Mehbooba dismissed media reports that there were differences with the BJP over allocations of portfolios. She pledged to carry forward the legacy of her late father, former CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who, she said, strived for the “overall development of the state”. “We will have to work very hard to fulfill the dreams of the people of all the regions and start a huge development process in the entire state,” Mehbooba told reporters. The development comes only a day after the state presidents of both PDP and BJP on Friday had requested the Raj Bhawan to give them more time to conclude their discussions on government formation. Only recently, the talks between the two parties were on the brink of collapse. But informed sources told this newspaper that a telephone call from NSA chief Ajit Doval to Mehbooba Mufti changed the course of event. He pacified Mehbooba who had been apprehensive of “backstabbing” by the Centre. BJP president Amit Shah, after his meeting with Mehbooba Mufti in New Delhi, had earlier nearly announced that there would be no coalition government between the PDP and BJP in J&K. Even the meeting between Mehbooba and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was cancelled and BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav told the media that there was no headway on government formation.
Informed sources said that the NSA chief organised the meeting between PM Modi and Mehbooba Mufti, after which the latter signalled that she was ready to form the government. Mehbooba was elected as leader of PDP’s legislature party on Thursday and the BJP too declared support for her claim to form the government in J&K. BJP legislature party re-elected Nirmal Singh as its leader and he is slated to be the Deputy Chief Minister of the state again.
The PDP camp had been dismissing speculation that there were roadblocks in forming the next government. Earlier, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had tweeted “picture abhi baqi hai dost”, indicating differences between the two parties.