PDP sets tough conditions for BJP

Srinagar: PDP on Saturday set tough conditions for BJP which is wooing it for the formation of the new government in Jammu and Kashmir, declaring that its stand against revocation of Art 370 was “non-negotiable”.

Indicating that PDP, with the highest tally of 28 followed by BJP with 25, may find it hard to do business with the saffron party, it also said it remained committed to the revocation of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). That is unlikely to be acceptable to BJP.

With Governor N N Vohra setting a deadline of January 1 for PDP and BJP to come up with proposals for government formation, behind-the-scenes contacts among the principal players including the National Conference (NC) and the Congress intensified.

For the record, PDP said that “all options are open and that no decision has been taken yet” but there were reports it was facing stiff opposition from a substantial chunk of its newly-elected MLAs to any tie up with BJP.

PDP’s alternative option is to accept the support of the Congress party which has 12 MLAs and the NC, which has 15 in the 87-member Assembly. It is in touch with both the parties as it wrestles with the dilemma of joining hands with the BJP.

There was speculation in political circles that if it is not able to reach an agreement with PDP, BJP may present the Governor with a list of 30 MLAs by January one to show that it had two more than PDP, raising the remote possibility of it being invited first to take a shot at ministry formation.