BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Ram Madhav have arrived in Jammu for a meeting of the elected legislators even as speculation about possible alliances and reported meetings are swirling about in Delhi.
Television reports said in the morning that National Conference leader Omar Abdullah had met senior BJP leaders and that he had cancelled his scheduled trip to London.
Abdullah went on Twitter to dispel one part of those reports, but was silent about the other.
I don't want to spoil a good story but I haven't cancelled or postponed my trip to England. I was always booked on the 27th of Dec.— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) December 25, 2014
He also made it clear on Twitter on Wednesday that his party fully intended to try and be part of a coalition government.
Incidentally in 2002 Mufti became CM with 16 MLAs & NC with 28 sat in opposition so excuse me if I don't oblige by rolling over to play dead— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) December 24, 2014
The speculation about National Conference's efforts soared this morning after television channels reported that Abdullah had met BJP president Amit Shah, finance minister Arun Jaitley and Ram Madhav in Delhi today to discuss a potential partnership in Jammu and Kashmir.
Ram Madhav told HuffPost India that no such meeting had taken place. When asked about TV reports that Abdullah was in Delhi, he said: "Was he?"
He also said the same on Twitter.
News about BJP leaders meeting NC leadership in Delhi baseless— Ram Madhav (@rammadhavbjp) December 25, 2014
Several combinations remain possible in government formation in J&K, and all parties are weighing their options. A PDP-BJP tie-up remains most likely, but both parties would like to avoid the ideological compromise that would entail.
On Wednesday, People's Democratic Party chief Mufti Mohammed Sayeed welcomed the government's decision to award Bharat Ratna to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
PDP has 28 seats and BJP has 25 seats. Congress has 12 and the National Conference has 15. Sajjad Lone's People Conference has two seats. And there are seven independents. The half-way mark, required to form the government in the state, is 44.
Mehbooba Mufti has said that the party is looking to form a government soon, but is not in a hurry to cobble up a coalition.