Keen on forming govt, will stake claim when numbers come our way: BJP Leader Ashok Koul

The Bharatiya Janata Party, which has the second highest number of lawmakers in an Assembly of 89, has said it is ready to form the government in J&K. The BJP has 26 MLAs while the Peoples Democratic Party has 28 MLAs in the Lower House.

The party is looking for 19 other lawmakers to touch the magic figure of 45, according to a senior functionary of the party in J&K who has been involved in government-formation efforts.

Ashok Koul, organising secretary of the state BJP, told Kashmir Post on Tuesday: “The party is ready to form the government any time. We will stake a claim as and when the numbers come our way.”

“The BJP on its own has 26 MLAs (25 elected and one nominated) in the House of 89 (87 elected and two nominated) and we need 19 others to stake the claim,” Koul said amid reports of hectic discussions going on in New Delhi over government formation as six months of Governor’s rule in J&K imposed on June 20 will be over next month.

Sources said the BJP was holding consultations with some PDP legislators who had rebelled against the party after the fall of the government.

Koul’s claim gains credence as there are eager lawmakers in other parties who want a new government in place before the expiry of the six-year term of the present Assembly that was constituted in early 2015.

Koul said the BJP was in favour of the government because the “democratic and elected government was the best option for the people of the state.”

“The BJP has always wanted to give its people due recognition by giving them an elected representation as people voted for a democratic government,” Koul said, adding that “after the successful conduct of the urban local bodies elections in which the BJP emerged as a powerful party, it becomes the responsibility of the party to rise to the expectations of the people in forming the government, too.”