Top PDP, BJP Leaders Devise Strategy For Govt, RS Polls

5 February 2015
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: The PDP and BJP today held separate meetings of its top leadership including legislators and gave final touch to the strategy for winning all four seats of Rajya Sabha as the BJP got a shot in the arms with Sajjad Lone's People's Conference MLA joining the BJP Legislature Party meeting here as the two parties maintained that majority of Independents and Other MLAs would support PDP-BJP combine in February 7 polls. While BJP general secretary Ram Madhav told top BJP leaders including MLAs of BJP and People's Conference that process of Government formation including drafting of Common Minimum Programme (CMP) would be taken up by the PDP and BJP after Rajya Sabha elections on February 7, BJP president Amit Shah said in New Delhi that the two parties were in 'advanced stage' of finalizing the CMP and formation of coalition Government in Jammu and Kashmir. Insiders in the BJP and PDP told the Excelsior that two MLAs of prominent Kashmir leader Sajjad Lone's People's Conference have extended full support to the BJP for Rajya Sabha elections. One of the PC MLA-Advocate Bashir Ahmad (Kupwara) even attended the BJP Legislature Party meeting here this afternoon and conveyed support of the party to the BJP on behalf of Sajjad Lone. Sajjad is MLA from Handwara. The BJP meeting was presided over by party's national general secretary Ram Madhav, who has been instrumental in devising the party's strategy for Rajya Sabha elections and formation of the Government with the PDP. The meeting was attended by all 25 MLAs, apart from senior party leaders Jugal Kishore Sharma, Ashok Koul, Ashok Khajuria and Chander Mohan Sharma. With PC's open support, the BJP votes in the Rajya Sabha elections have gone up to 27 and it would be requiring only two additional votes from the PDP to see its both candidates through to the Rajya Sabha. The PDP and BJP are contesting two seats each for Rajya Sabha while NC and Congress are contesting three in alliance with each other (NC two and Congress one). Insiders said Ram Madhav exuded confidence that PDP and BJP will win all four seats as majority of Independents and Others would support their combination instead of Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and Congress candidate Ghulam Nabi Azad. While some of the Independents might prefer to vote for PDP, the latter could divert its two votes to BJP in third election for two seats to see to it that all four candidates of the newly formed PDP-BJP alliance are through to the Rajya Sabha. Madhav briefed the party leaders about discussions with PDP and Independents and Others on Rajya Sabha elections and formation of next Government in the State. According to party leaders, the formal process to form the Government by the two new allies-PDP and BJP would gain momentum after February 7 Rajya Sabha elections and leaders of the two parties wanted to focus on winning all four seats by winning over the Independents and Others as the seats were crucial for the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre, which was in minority in the Rajya Sabha. Though the two parties have discussed broad contours of the CMP to run the Government, the final touches would be given only after February 7 when the talks between the two parties would begin. Meanwhile, top leadership of the PDP also met at the official residence of the party patron and former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to devise party's strategy for Rajya Sabha elections and Government formation. The meeting was attended by party's all 28 newly elected MLAs apart from MLCs and all three Lok Sabha members-Mehbooba Mufti, who also happens to be the party president, Muzaffar Hussain Baig and Tariq Hamid Qarra. Sources said Mufti Sayeed briefed the party leaders about the strategy to win all four Rajya Sabha seats followed by formation of Government in the State. Worthwhile to mention here that Independent MLA from Zanskar, Bakir Hussain Rizvi, who had won the Assembly seat with the support of NC, has already sided with the PDP. Party leaders said the PDP top brass also debated formation of Government in the State after Rajya Sabha elections saying the process would gain momentum once the polls are over with drafting of the CMP and discussions over number of the Ministers and portfolios to be distributed among the two parties, which were entering into an alliance for the first time. Meanwhile, BJP president Amit Shah today said that the BJP and PDP are in an 'advanced stage' of finalizing CMP ahead of forming a coalition Government in Jammu and Kashmir and the issue of Chief Ministership will be discussed only after that. 'The process for making a Common Minimum Programme is on. It has reached a very advanced stage but yet not completed. 'It is only after the finalisation of the CMP that issues like who will be the Chief Minister and from which party, will be discussed. All this will be discussed only then,' Shah said in New Delhi. He said that right now what should be understood is that the two parties have come together to help each other in the Rajya Sabha elections from the State. Shah was replying to a question on whether their coming together for the Rajya Sabha polls is a clear indication of the two parties having resolved issues for forming the next Government in the State including that of Chief Ministership. There have been indications that the Government formation in J and K will get a fillip after the Delhi Assembly elections are over on February 7. Speaking to reporters in Jammu, Ram Madhav said the BJP and PDP could form the Government shortly as talks between the two parties were on. 'The Government will be in place soon. However, the CMP would be drafted once the two parties are free from February 7 Rajya Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir and New Delhi Assembly polls,' he said. Madhav added that a strategy was in place and PDP-BJP combine would win all four Rajya Sabha seats. Asked to elaborate on the strategy, he said this can't be discussed in the media. The BJP general secretary expressed confidence that the party would also form the Government in New Delhi and welcomed support of Dera Sacha Sauda to the party. To a question on report remarks of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal that RSS is a communal outfit, Madhav said the people will teach Kejriwal a lesson in the elections.