Trouble mounting for PDP as 18 disgruntled MLAs ready to join BJP to form the government

As reported by various media houses, a PDP MLA, Abdul Majeed Padder, hinted at joining the saffron party for the formation of a new government in the state. This development comes days after the Jammu and Kashmir former Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti had warned the BJP of serious repercussions if they tried to instigate and engineer revolt amongst PDP.

Asserting to end the current ambiguity, rebel Padder on Saturday said they have the support of 51 members in the 87 member Legislative Assembly to form the next government in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Rest assured, don’t worry about the numbers. We have more numbers than required. You need 44 members and we have 51 members. There is no problem as far as numbers are concerned. You will soon get to know how much numbers we have”, said Padder, who is PDP MLA from Noorabad constituency in the Kulgam district of south Kashmir.

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As reported by DNA, on Friday, Padder, along with four other lawmakers – three PDP MLAs and 2 MLCs – held a news conference and stated that their faction was the “real” PDP. They added that they had lost confidence in Mehbooba Mufti’s leadership.

His comments came despite Mufti’s public warning that a rebellion in her party could lead to an increase in incidents of terrorism in the valley. Reacting to this, Padder reportedly said, “When my leader late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed could go for an alliance with BJP, why can’t we form the government with BJP.”

Padder isn’t the only PDP leader who has spoken against chief Mufti. Conflicts and divergence seem to have encroached the party since a fairly long time. Earlier, senior PDP legislator Abid Hussain Ansari slammed the former CM saying that she has converted the party into a “family fiefdom”.

In the last few months, J&K’s political scenario has seen many highs and lows with the BJP on 19th June deciding to pull out of the alliance with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir saying it is “untenable” for the coalition to continue. The National General Secretary of the BJP, Ram Madhav while speaking to the media had reiterated that “Keeping in mind larger interest of India’s security and integrity, the fact is that J&K is an integral part of India, in order to bring control over the situation prevailing in the state we have decided that the reigns of power in the state be handed over to the Governor.”

In the 87-member legislative assembly in Jammu and Kashmir, the magic number to form the government with simple majority stands at 44. The PDP to date is the single largest party with 28 members, whereas the BJP has 25 members. With BJP sources confirming that they had indeed received the “feelers” sent by the rebel PDP MLAs regarding the government formation, one is left to wonder for how long now, can the PDP grandstand of being the single largest party in the valley.

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