PDP suggests alliance with NC, Congress

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Srinagar, Dec 29: The PDP today came out with the idea of a "grand alliance" with its arch rival National Conference (NC) and the Congress to form the new government in Jammu and Kashmir, introducing a new element in the power sweepstakes.

Amid reports that the PDP, the single largest party with 28 members in the 87-strong Assembly, was warming up to BJP, second with 25 MLAs in the hung House, for the first time it spoke of the possibility of a tie up with NC and Congress both of whom have extended support to it.

Mehbooba Mufti

Making a bid for getting into power for the first time in the Muslim-majority state, BJP has held talks with both the PDP as well as the NC, which has verbally promised its support to keep out the saffron party.

PDP chief spokesman Nayeem Akthar's statement that a grand alliance between the party, NC and Congress "was also an option" to form a stable government led to speculation on whether it was a tactic to put pressure on BJP to which PDP has set tough conditions including retention of Art 370 that grants special status to the state.

Meanwhile, Nirmal Singh, MLA who was Chairman of BJP's campaign committee during the elections, said in New Delhi tonight that his party is in talks with other parties and "all our options are open".

Meanwhile, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti is slated to meet Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra on Wednesday for discussing government formation.

"The meeting of Mehbooba Mufti, Member of Parliament and President of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with the Governor has been advanced to take place on Wednesday at the Raj Bhavan in Jammu," a Raj Bhavan spokesman said today.

PTI

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