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J&K GOVT FORMATION: PDP declines; NC red-faced

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SRINAGAR: Prospects of an early resolution to political stalemate in Jammu and Kashmir ended on Wednesday with National Conference slamming PDP and accusing it of making every “compromise” to come to power, after the latter showed no inclination to accept offer of support.
PDP, which has emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats in the House of 87 members, today indicated that it may not accept the support offer of National Conference whose Working President Omar Abdullah wrote to Governor N.N Vohra yesterday.
“The people have voted against the National Conference in the elections and with just 15 seats, they (NC) cannot decide on the government formation,” PDP Chief Spokesperson Naeem Akhtar told PTI here.
Soon after, NC’s General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar issued a statement, saying its offer was limited to outside support and attacked PDP, saying it was “ready to make every possible compromise and U-turn to come to power”.
Sagar pointedly targeted PDP Patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, accusing him of “lording over countless massacres and being the architect of repression in the State”.
Insisting that NC was not interested in being a part of government, he said that “unlike” PDP, his party is “guided by principles and a political ideology that is rooted in the aspirations and sentiments of the people.”
Sagar said, “It should be amply clear that the NC’s offer to PDP was an offer of outside support for PDP to form the government in J and K…”
While slamming PDP, Sagar said, “We have put our ideology over the lure of power, something that quite understandably seems inconceivable for a party like the PDP which is ready to make every possible compromise and U-turn to come to power in the State.
“PDP wants to come to power at any cost, even if that means contradicting everything PDP leaders said during the campaign for the Assembly Elections.”
While indicating disinclination to accept the support offer, Akhtar said people have voted for change in Jammu and Kashmir and an alliance with the National Conference would amount to disrespecting their desire.
Attacking NC, he said, “Having realised that they cannot be the king, they (NC) want to be the kingmaker now.”
Akhtar had said last night that if cobbling up a government had been the sole aim of PDP, it would have staked its claim by now.
“Our agenda is not just to come to power but use it as a means to bring peace and stability in Jammu and Kashmir,” Akhtar had said.
Asked about the talks with BJP on government formation, he said, “The structured dialogue has not started yet but back channel talks are in progress.” He, however, did not elaborate.
Sagar, NC MLA from Khanyar in Kashmir, said his party had hoped that PDP would forge a coming together of the two regional parties in the larger interest of the State but “we recognise their compulsions due to the debt they owe” to the BJP.
“It would now be better for the PDP to be honest with the people rather than trying to cloak their deceit behind some smokescreen of a moral high ground,” the NC leader added.He further said if NC were interested in being part of a government in J and K, it could have aligned with the BJP which “was an option readily available to NC after the election results came out.” He said, “Unlike PDP, National Conference has put its ideology and the State’s Special Status above the petty trappings of power by not aligning with BJP.”
While slamming PDP, the NC leader said, “The last we checked, neither had Mufti Mohammad Sayeed rendered a public apology for his crimes against Kashmiris during his tenure as the (Union) Home Minister and nor have the people of the State forgiven him for lording over countless massacres and being the architect of repression in the State. “So, the PDP Chief spokesperson should come out of his delusions and the party should stop taking the people of Kashmir for granted”, Sagar added. Sayeed was the Union Home Minister in the V.P Singh-led government of 1989.
Sagar said the PDP “clearly owes a debt to the BJP since it was the BJP that funded and supported the creation of the PDP with a view of dividing the people of Kashmir and fragmenting their representative voice. Similarly, the BJP owns promoter’s equity in the PDP for having funded the creation of PDP”. PDP and BJP have been in talks for government formation but no headway has been reported yet.
Rubbishing PDP’s “deluded claim” that NC had been punished or sidelined by the people, Sagar said, “A party that only got 60,000 more votes than us collectively in the State can hardly make that claim with a straight face. PDP tried its best to accentuate a propaganda of an alleged ‘PDP wave’, which clearly turned out to be a farce as the results demonstrated.”
The Assembly polls, whose results were declared on 23rd December last, threw up a fractured mandate. PDP emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats in the 87-member House.
BJP bagged 25 seats, NC 15 and Congress 12.
Abdullah resigned last week as caretaker Chief Minister, after which Governor’s Rule was imposed in the State.

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