Congress offers 'constructive support' for a secular govt in J&K

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New Delhi, Dec 29: Congress on Monday offered its "constructive support" in formation of a "secular government" in Jammu and Kashmir maintaining that PDP being the single largest party has the "legal, moral and constitutional' right to do so.

Party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi also recounted the remarks of Congress President Sonia Gandhi yesterday in which she had said that since Congress did not get the mandate, others will have to form the government. [PDP says tie up with NC, Congress an option to form govt]

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Gandhi had just smiled and walked away when asked whether Congress will be supporting PDP, which emerged as the single largest party in the Assembly elections with 28 seats.

"We are here to give constructive support to any genuine secular formation," Singhvi said, adding that Congress' position on this issues is based on two premises -- one that it has not got the mandate and that it was for others to work out how to form the government and that the PDP being the largest party has the "legal, moral and Constitutional" right to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir.

He also dismissed questions over possibility of President's Rule in the state saying "Elections have happened just a week ago and it will be absurd to talk about President Rule."

At the same time, he said that other parties, which have to form the government, will have to take the initiative. "We are always open to support (PDP) but we cannot be taking initiative on it," the Congress spokesperson said.

Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti will be meeting Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra on Wednesday for discussing government-formation in the state following a hung verdict in the assembly polls. Vohra had on Friday invited Mehbooba and BJP state unit president Jugal Kishore Sharma for separate meetings to hold discussion on formation of government in the state.

The assembly polls threw up a fractured verdict with PDP emerging as the single largest party with 28 seats in the 87- member Assembly and BJP second largest party with 25 seats. National Conference won 15 seats and Congress 12. Smaller parties and Independents together won seven seats.

So far no single party or combination of parties, have staked claim for formation of the government in the state. An elected government has to be put in place by January 19, failing which Governor's rule will be imposed.

Weighing its options carefully, PDP, had yesterday begun consultations with its newly elected MLAs in a bid to find a consensus on the sensitive issue of joining hands with BJP or Congress to form the new government in the state.

PTI

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