BJP may bargain for 50:50 term for next J&K CM

New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) The BJP, which is a junior partner in the Jammu and Kashmir government, may bargain for a 50:50 formula for rest of the chief ministerial term, sources said, even as the PDP on Thursday named Mehbooba Mufti as its leader in the assembly.

Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who led the coalition government, died in New Delhi on Thursday morning.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Avinash Rai Khanna, who is in charge of party affairs in Jammu and Kashmir, said the chief ministerial issue has not been decided yet, and the party will take a call soon.

"There has been no discussion over the issue of the chief ministerial candidate yet. When the matter comes up, the party will take a call," Khanna told IANS.

"It is for the PDP to decide who will be its legislature party leader," he said when asked about the Peoples Democratic Party nominating Mehbooba Mufti as its leader, in succession to her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

Two senior PDP leaders, Muzaffar Hussain Beigh and Altaf Bukhari, on Thursday handed over a party letter to Governor N.N. Vohra nominating Mehbooba Mufti as the leader of its legislature group.

However, a top BJP functionary told IANS that the party will push for the formula of 50:50 for the remainder of the chief ministerial term, meaning for half of the rest of the term the PDP would head the government and the BJP for the other half.

"Mufti saheb had proposed earlier too to consider Mehbooba as the chief minister when we were in talks for the formation of the government earlier, but we were not ready," he said.

"We had clearly said that if he himself opts for the top post, the BJP has no problem but if Mehbooba would be projected, the BJP would go for 50:50 formula," the BJP functionary said on condition of anonymity.

In the last assembly elections, the Peoples Democratic Party won 28 seats and the BJP 25. The opposition National Conference got 15 and the Congress 12.

BJP sources said the party’s parliamentary board, which is expected to meet on Sunday, will take the final call.

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