January 2016 News
Mehbooba's 'misgivings' On BJP Bond Hints At Midterm Poll29 January 2016
Srinagar: The likelihood of Jammu and Kashmir heading towards midterm poll Friday increased as the PDP president Mehbooba Mufti seemed unwilling to stake claim to power in absence of concrete assurances from the BJP on the agenda of alliance. 'It is not the question of whether she gets sworn in as the new chief minister of the state or not,' a top Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) source close to Kashmir Observer said. 'She believes the terms of the alliance agenda have not been implemented during the 10-month period of her father's rule because the BJP made assurances without any translation on the ground.' The source said that Mehbooba Mufti is worried about the promises made by her father and the party to the people. 'Mehboobaji has been in deep introspection since Mufti (Mohammad Sayeed) Sahib passed away. She seems to have misgivings on continuation of the alliance with the BJP,' said the source. 'After resisting the lure to assume the reins of power in the state for the last 23 days, it is highly unlikely that she will agree to head the same ruling coalition unless the BJP walks the extra mile.' Lending credence to this is the PDP's announcement that no discussions on government formation will be discussed during the party meeting called in Srinagar on January 31. 'We shall be discussing party affairs, strengthening the party at the grassroots level and other related issues without taking up the issue of staking claim to power,' said a party source. Others in the party argue that to stake claim to power after delaying the matter for nearly a month would be giving in to the bait thrown by rivals, like the National Conference (NC) which has been calling the PDP decision to take its own time to decide on future course of action as 'theatrics'. 'She (Mehbooba Mufti) is not someone who jumps to conclusions under pressure. She has a long political career ahead which cannot be staked for immediate power unless she fulfils the promises made to the people and the aspirations they attached to the stewardship of an experienced politician like Mufti sahib,' said a party source, adding she needs assurances on resumption of talks with separatists, vacation of lands occupied by the army and return of power projects to state ownership. If these sources are to be believed, then the state would be heading for a midterm poll since both the NC and the Congress have already shown reluctance to support any other alliance given the present numbers in the 87-member state legislative assembly. The PDP won 28, the BJP 25, the NC 15, the Congress 12, the CPI-M one, Peoples Conference 2 and others fours seats in the 2014 assembly elections in the state. Governor N.N. Vohra has started tightening his laces to run the government. Vohra has asked top officials of the state finance department to start the process for vote on account for the next fiscal beginning April 1, 2016 so that the state is saved from plunging into any financial crisis.