A leader from the Jammu and Kashmir unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday scotched all speculation of a new alliance forming the government in the state. “Ram Madhavji has cleared that, we are in favour of governor’s rule,” said Ashok Kaul, state general secretary of the party, when asked about a possible “Northern Alliance”, comprising the BJP, the People’s Conference and dissident leaders of the People’s Democratic Front.
Earlier this week, BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav had said the party supported governor’s rule, addressing rumours of government formation in the state.
The rumours started flying soon after the BJP walked out of a three-year alliance with Mehbooba Mufti’s Peoples Democratic Party on June 19, leading to the fall of the state government and imposition of governor’s rule. Over the next few weeks, rebellion brewed in the People’s Democratic Party, as a number of legislators spoke out against the senior party leadership, accusing it of nepotism and dynastic politics.
It led to speculation that the existing leadership may be sidelined and a new coalition government formed, getting around the state’s stringent anti-defection laws. Members of the BJP state unit, including former Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta, had also hinted at the formation of a new government.
However, over the last few days, reports have emerged of People’s Democratic Party legislators pledging their loyalty to Mufti. It was also reported that the nascent coalition could not agree on a potential chief minister, with the BJP wanting one of its own to fill the post and other prospective alliance partners unwilling to concede. “The question does not arise now,” said Kaul, when asked about the BJP’s chief ministerial ambitions.