Omar hints at possibility of NC backing PDP

Srinagar, Dec 23: The outgoing Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday hinted at an intriguing possibility of supporting his party National Conference's (NC) bitter political rival PDP in forming a government in the state after the hung verdict in the Assembly polls.

Mufti Mohammed Sayeed's PDP has emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats, 16 short of a majority in the 87-member legislature.


BJP got 25 seats and NC 17, including two Independents supported by it, followed by the Congress with 12 seats. PDP's options are either to align with BJP or cobble together a government with the support of Congress and some independents.

Support from NC has never been considered as an option by political observers. Introducing a new element in the scenario, Omar told PTI that it was for PDP to approach him.

"I don't rule out or rule in anything thereafter," he said. Reminded that NC's support to PDP has never been envisaged, Omar said, "was Mr Nitish Kumar's coming together with Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav in Bihar ever thought of?"

He virtually ruled out any support to the BJP, saying that there was only one per cent likelihood of that. "I am leaving one per cent crack open." 

Omar, however, maintained that he would not be approaching anyone. "But that does not stop anyone from approaching me," he said.

Putting the onus on PDP, BJP and Congress to cobble up a government, Omar said it was not for him to unilaterally extend support to any formation.

Asked about BJP Chief Amit Shah's remarks at a press conference that he was keeping all options open on government formation, Omar said he had not got any call from Shah.

Acknowledging that he was earlier today not sure of returning as an MLA, he said now he was going to sit back and leave it to other parties to form the new government. There is only one road for the NC and that is upwards and "we have an important role to play in coming days."

Omar, however, said that he had expected the PDP to do much better. The Chief Minister said the BJP had done well but had become victim of its own propaganda.

"If before elections they had projected themselves to do better than the past, they would have been a relaxed lot today. "However, their slogans like Mission 44 and Mission 52 only punctured their happiness," he said.


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