PDP, NC, Congress join hands in Jammu & Kashmir, will try and form government

File photo of the PDP's Mehbooba Mufti and the NC's Omar Abdullah. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Srinagar Nov 21, 2018, 06.43 PM (IST) Ieshan Bashir Wani

After the emergence of the third front in Jammu and Kashmir, three political parties have come together to form a government in the state. 

The development came a day after senior PDP leader Muzzafar Hussain Baig showed his willingness to join the Third Front, currently led by Sajjad Gani Lone of the People's Conference.

The coming together of the National Conference, the People's Democratic Party and the Congress, in what is seen as a grand alliance, was announced by senior PDP leader Altaf Bukhari at his residence. 

"All the three parties decided to join hands to defend the special status of the state, keeping in view the political situation and special status of the state," Altaf, who is seen as a front-runner for the chief ministerial chair, told WION in an exclusive chat.

He told WION that a formal announcement about the formation of the government would be made soon. "We have 60 MLAs to keep the communal forces away from the state and an alliance has been agreed," he said. 

The alliance will also save the PDP from breaking as some of its senior members had rebelled against the party over a number of issues and were part of the Third Front which was emerging stronger by the day. 

Backed by the BJP, the Third Front was emerging as an alternative to the traditional political parties which have ruled Kashmir for decades. But they don't have the numbers to prove their majority in the state assembly which is currently in suspended animation.

J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik had earlier said that he wouldn't dissolve the assembly but there were no signs of any government formation. 

Sources have told WION that several informal talks were held between the political parties over the joining of hands, adding that the aim of government formation was also to stop J&K from slipping into the hands of Governor's Rule.

"Congress MLAs have submitted their written consent to the party for the formation of government," a source in the PDP told WION. 

The National Conference has called for a core group meeting tomorrow with top leaders from the three regions of the Himalayan state. The Congress' J&K-in-charge Ghulam Ahmad Mir has flown to Delhi to meet the party's top leadership over the issue while other members have been called on the 23rd to deliberate further. 

Story highlights

The development came a day after senior PDP leader Muzzafar Hussain Baig showed his willingness to join the Third Front, currently led by Sajjad Gani Lone of the People's Conference. The third front is backed by the BJP.