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PDP claims support of 55 legislators

Jammu, December 31: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti told Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra on Wednesday that her party had the support of 55 legislators in the 87–seat assembly to form a stable government.

Mehbooba Mufti did not specify if the Bharatiya Jata Party (BJP), with 25 legislators, was supporting her but made a pointed laudatory reference to former prime minister and now ailing BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader met the governor for about 90 minutes at the Raj Bhavan in this winter capital, official sources told IANS.

Mehbooba Mufti later told the media: “We have the support of 55 MLAs. It is our intention that a stable government is formed to address the huge problems faced by the people in the state.

“We want that the agenda of development and peace should be carried forward. We want Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s peace process (with Pakistan) to be carried to its logical conclusion,” she added.

She, however, did not specify if a PDP–BJP alliance will take office in the state although most pundits believe that will be the case.

The PDP and BJP together command 53 legislators. The BJP won all its seats in the Hindu–majority Jammu region and the PDP won all but two seats in the overwhelmingly Muslim Kashmir Valley.

It was not clear which two other legislators propose to back the PDP–BJP government. The People’s Conference of former militant Sajad Lone has two members in the house and he had met Prime Minister rendra Modi.

The tiol Conference, which was voted out in the election, won 15 seats and the Congress, its estranged ally, 12. Seven seats went to independents and smaller parties including two to Lone’s party.

Amid the political uncertainty that followed the hung verdict, the BJP held discussions with the tiol Conference but there was opposition to partnering with the BJP within the tiol Conference.

Vohra sent separate letters to the PDP and the BJP for discussions on government formation.

BJP general secretary Ram Madhav called on Vohra Tuesday along with state party president Jugul Kishore. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita

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