A file photo of Omar Abdullah. Photo: Hindustan Times
A file photo of Omar Abdullah. Photo: Hindustan Times

Jammu and Kashmir: Omar Abdullah rules out alliance with BJP

Abdullah ruled out an alliance with BJP, saying the party 'is not power hungry' and would not make an 'ideological compromise'

Srinagar: A day after National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah said he was open to discuss a tie-up with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, his son and former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday ruled out an alliance with the saffron outfit, saying the party “is not power hungry" and would not make an “ideological compromise".

“NC is not power hungry and is not interested in political power that comes through an ideological compromise. We shunned prospects of an alliance with the BJP a year ago and the reasons for having done that remain unchanged," Omar wrote on his official Facebook page. Omar, the NC working president, said the senior Abdullah was responding to a hypothetical question based on a hypothetical situation and he never said that the party would support the BJP.

He only said that if any such request or proposal is received from the BJP, it will be taken up by the party’s working committee. No such proposal has been received, which makes his remarks a pure reiteration of the organizational procedure to deal with such issues and nothing more, Omar said. The former chief minister said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is an ally of the BJP, and NC is not obliged to rescue either PDP or BJP from the ensuing stalemate in their standing political alliance.

It must also be remembered that the working committee of the party, in its recent meeting in Srinagar, had endorsed the decision taken by NC a year ago to stay away from the BJP and “we expect no change in that decision", Omar said. Farooq had on Saturday said his party was ready to consider a tie-up with the BJP for government formation if such an offer was received.

“If such a proposal comes, then NC will call a working committee (meeting) and debate over it. If such a situation arises, NC can think over it as we have not closed the doors. Our doors are open," he told reporters in Jammu when asked to spell out his party’s stand if it gets a proposal from the BJP for forming a coalition government in the state which is under governor’s rule. In the 87-member Assembly, the BJP has 25 MLAs while its ally Peoples Conference headed by Sajad Gani Lone has two members.

The NC has 15 legislators. Any alliance between the BJP and the NC will still require at least support of two other independent MLAs to cross the 44-seat mark for forming the government.