Grand alliance an option for PDP but Mufti won’t lead

Minus NC, formula under
consideration if BJP turns down
agenda on alliance’

Image result for mufti syed
The Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP) patron Mufti Muhammad
Sayeed is “not averse” to the idea of
“greater alliance-minus National
Conference” on government formation in
Jammu and Kashmir in case the
Bharatiya Janata Party opposes PDP’s
“agenda on alliance” which focuses on resumption of dialogue process on
Kashmir, on both external and internal
Informed sources told Greater Kashmir
that the PDP was ready with its agenda on
alliance framed by its core group led by
senior leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig.
“Its key constituents are resumption of
talks with separatists and re-starting the
dialogue process on Kashmir with
Pakistan. There is also a road map for
moving ahead on other contentious
issues,” they said.
Sources said Mufti is of the belief that it is
the political stability which will pave way
for development of the state. “That is
what our (PDP) agenda is focused on. We
want assurances on political issues,
development will follow,” they said.
Sources said the PDP will formally place
its agenda before the BJP and seek its
response before making any forward
movement on a possible tie-up with the
right-wing party.
The communication channels between the
two parties, the sources said, are
presently on at “different levels.”
“It is a multi-level process going on
simultaneously, but it is not a structured
one. Once we get a response from the
other side (BJP), you can expect some
structured talks thereafter,” sources said,
adding, “Mufti is willing to talk to the
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the
larger issues involving Pakistan.”
The PDP, which emerged as single largest
party bagging 28 seats in the 87-member
House, is in a dilemma over government
formation with BJP as it faces a challenge
to stand by its political ideology while
going ahead with the right-wing party
which bagged 25 seats and stood at
second number in the poll results
announced on December 23.
Sources said in case the talks between the
PDP and BJP fail, the PDP will explore the
grand alliance idea.
“Mufti sahab is personally not against the
idea of a bigger alliance. This
combination, apart from bigger parties—
PDP and Congress—can take on board
smaller parties including Sajad Lone’s
Peoples Conference and independents,”
sources said.
The NC has offered its unconditional
support to the PDP for forming the next
government. Sources said the leadership
of PDP, which won most of its seats from
Kashmir, was not averse to idea of bigger
alliance as it was of the opinion that
people have “voted for change.”
Senior Congress leader Ghulam  Nabi Azad
had floated the idea of grand alliance
between PDP, National Conference and his
party which bagged 12 seats, to form the
next government. NC has secured 15
Sources said Azad rang up Mufti few days
ago and the discussion between the two
“revolved around the grand alliance idea.”
“Mufti sahab has a high regard for him
(Azad),” they said.
But sources insisted in case the bigger
alliance idea matures, Mufti will not lead
the government and even PDP president
Mehbooba Mufti will not be a part of it
“at any stage in future,” though the party
will only be a part of the formation.
“Mufti sahab wants to respect the faith
people have shown in his party,” sources
said. “He also believes another option
under which all three regions of the state
could get representation in the
government, can also be explored.”
“We are talking about respect for mandate
given by Kashmir, and Ladakh where
Congress won three seats, and with BJP as
one of the stakeholders. How this formula
gets a shape can be a matter of discussion
and deliberations. We will cross the
bridge once we reach there,” sources