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Independent MLA rules out support to BJP, asks PDP and NC to join hands

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Independent MLA rules out support to BJP, asks PDP and NC to join hands
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Ruling out extending support to BJP for government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, firebrand independent MLA from Langate, Abdul Rashid Sheikh on Friday, asked PDP and NC to join hands if they were serious about fulfilling their respective agenda of self rule and autonomy in the state.

"I will not be part of any dispensation of which the BJP is also a part in the present scenario," Sheikh, who retained his seat in just-concluded assembly elections, told reporters here.

Sheikh said if the PDP and National Conference were sincere in fulfilling their agenda of self rule and autonomy which the two parties have been promising for a long time now, they should come together.

"Why does not PDP accept the offer of support made by Omar Abdullah? It is for Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to explain. If they still fall short of numbers, I will also support them," the MLA said.

While the PDP has 28 MLAs, National Conference has 15 members in the newly-elected assembly and with Sheikh's support they can reach the 44-seat mark required to form the government. Sheikh however, said the two parties did not seem to be serious as they had proved when he brought a resolution in the state assembly on parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru.

"It seems that both the parties are scared of Delhi and do not want to fulfill their election promises," he claimed.

In response to a question, Sheikh said there was no question of disrespecting the mandate for BJP from Jammu region where the national party bagged 25 of the 37 seats. "Atal Behari Vajpayee had a majority of just one seat (in 1999). In democracy, the numbers matter," he added.

Sheikh said he was willing to support the BJP as well if the party gave an assurance that it will resume dialogue with Pakistan for resolution of Kashmir issue and release the political detainees among other issues concerning the people of the Valley.

"These assurances do not have to be just for the sake of assurance but implement too. I don't hold brief for Pakistan but it is the people of the state who suffer due to hostilities between India and that country," he added. 

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