January 2016 News

Suspense Over Government-formation In J&K On

10 January 2016

Srinagar: Hectic political activities have started for the formation of the next government amid speculations about the alignments and realignments in the strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir. For the first time since Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's death, People's Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti made a public appearance when she in an unprecedented move visited the newly built mausoleum of her father at Bijbhera. Mehbooba broke down and stayed at the tomb for one hour with tears rolling down from her eyes during Mufti's fourth day ceremony on Sunday. Back from Bijbhera, Mehbooba met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari who came calling to condole the death of Mufti on his fourth day ceremony. Sonia's visit however fuelled speculation about alignments and realignments though Congress was quick to deny it. 'She (Sonia) came to offer condolence since Mufti Sahab had long association with party and family. There was no political agenda,' said Ghulam Nabi Azad, former chief minister and leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. Sonia however wrote an emotional letter recalling Mufti's contribution to the welfare of people of Jammu and Kashmir when he was the chief minister of the PDP-Congress coalition in 2002. 'As chief minister in 2002 he pledged himself providing what he used to call the healing touch. He faced many challenges. But such was the force of his personality and such was the confidence that he evoked across different sections of society that he was able to confront them successfully and fulfill the promises he had made,' Sonia wrote in a signed letter. What however created a flutter was the statement of Muzaffar Hussain Baig, PDP's Lok Sabha MP from Baramulla, that anything can happen in politics, fueling speculations about his party's thinking. 'It is very good thing that she (Sonia) came to offer sympathies with the family of old associate. We welcome her. When Mehbooba ji will come out of the mourning and will be mentally ready, she will assume office. Coalition (PDP-BJP) was made for six years. Only some time has passed. Anything can happen in politics,' Baig said. On the other side, Gadkari dropped enough hints of continuing with the alliance with PDP though he said his meeting with Mehbooba was to offer condolence. 'It is not an occasion to discuss politics. I have come to offer condolences on behalf of the centre. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had a dream for Jammu and Kashmir. We will try to fulfill all the assurances given to him,' he said For the first time since the death of chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, PDP leaders are meeting at his residence on Sunday evening. Sources said though the meeting is informal, yet political discussions cannot be ruled out.Meanwhile, Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir governor NN Vohra has got down to business a day after he promulgated the governor's rule. 'The governor has shall be meeting all the administrative secretaries on Monday morning, at the state government secretariat. He also have separate discussions with chief secretary, DGP and principal secretary, home department,' an official spokesman said.