Srinagar/Ranchi: In a heavily-fractured verdict in Jammu and Kashmir, the PDP today emerged as the single largest party throwing many possibilities in government formation while the BJP was all set to form government in Jharkhand in coalition with ally AJSU.
With 28 seats, the PDP was in a pole position to form the government but the party appeared to be keeping all options open like the BJP which has won 25 seats, all in the Jammu region, recording its best performance in the state.
The BJP’s success in Jharkhand comes on top of its victory in Maharashtra and Haryana in the recent assembly elections after the stupendous victory in Lok Sabha polls.
However, the BJP, for whom Prime Minister Narendra Modi carried out an extensive ‘Mission 44+’ campaign in the 87 member Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, failed to make any breakthrough in the Valley and Ladakh where it drew a blank in 50 seats.
However, the party had more than doubled its seats from 11 in 2008 to 25 now while the PDP went up from 21 to 28.
The ruling National Conference was routed when it secured only 19 seats against 28 it had won in the last elections.
Chief Minister and NC President Omar Abdullah lost from Sonawar seat but managed to cling on to Beerwah with a slender margin of 1000 votes.
Its partner in the government Congress slipped to the fourth position getting 12 seats against 17 it had. Jammu Kashmir People Conference headed by former separatist Sajjad Lone won two seats while JKPDF (secular) and CPI-M won one seat each. Independents won in three seats.
As the picture became clear, BJP President Amit Shah said all three options were open for the party.
“The option of forming the government, the option of supporting a government and the option of participating in a government are all open,” Shah told reporters in Delhi.
To further questions, he said it is for the media to guess what the BJP would do. The party’s parliamentary board will meet tomorrow to discuss the situation.
In Srinagar, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti also kept everyone guessing.
“Our priority will not be to cobble together a government by hook or crook. It will take time to explore possibilities and formation of government to meet the people’s expectations and good governance. It is difficult to say when it will materialise,” she told reporters.
Outgoing Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also did not reveal his party’s plan except to claim that the National Conference cannot be ignored in the current situation. “The NC will be a serious player in whatever unveils in Jammu and Kashmir in the next few days,” he said.