As suspense over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir continued, Peoples Democratic Party on Monday said that the idea of a grand alliance with the National Conference and the Congress was an option for forming a stable government in the state. "A grand alliance with the PDP, National Conference and the Congress as partners is also an option," PDP spokesman Naeem Akhtar told PTI.
Akhtar said it was one of the options that can be explored to form a stable government in the state and also fulfill the aspirations of all the regions of the state. The idea of such an alliance was mooted by senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
The PDP has emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats in the 87-member assembly followed closely by the Bharatiya Janata Party with 25 seats while the NC bagged 15. The Congress won 12 seats and the smaller parties and independents got seven seats.
No political party has been able to yet muster the support of 44 legislators required to form the government in the state. The Congress, NC and several independents have offered support to the PDP for government formation.
Meanwhile, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti is slated to meet Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra on Wednesday for discussing government formation.
"The meeting of Mehbooba Mufti, member of Parliament and president of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party with the governor has been rescheduled to take place on Wednesday at the Raj Bhavan in Jammu," a Raj Bhavan spokesman said on Monday.
Vohra had on Friday invited Mehbooba and BJP state unit president Jugal Kishore Sharma for separate meetings to hold discussion on formation of government in the state.
Te PDP, which is holding intra-party discussions on possible alliances to form the next government in the state, has asked its newly-elected MLAs to go back to their constituencies for getting feedback from their constituents on such a possibility. At the end of two days of informal consultations with the party MLAs, PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed told them that they should go back to their respective areas to sense the mood of the people on the possibility of allying with the BJP for formation of the next government, PDP sources said. The PDP patron wants to build a consensus within the party before Mehbooba Mufti meets the governor.
On Saturday, the PDP set tough conditions for the BJP which is wooing it for the formation of the new government in the state, declaring that its stand against revocation of Art 370 was "non-negotiable".
In the midst of these deliberations, NC President Farooq Abdullah and its working president Omar Abdullah on Monday issued a gag order to the party leaders asking them to desist from speaking to the media over policy issues including the post-assembly-poll scenario.
"Farooq and Omar have authorised NC general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, provincial presidents for Jammu and Kashmir Devender Singh Rana and Nasir Aslam Wani respectively and spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu to speak on behalf of the party on policy issues including the post-assembly-polls policy and stands of the party," the party said in a statement.
It said the statements made by the other party leaders should be taken as their personal opinions. The NC said the party general secretary would coordinate briefings among the office bearers.