New Delhi: A new PDP-BJP government on Friday appeared unlikely anytime soon after the BJP made it clear that it won't accept any new demand from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Senior PDP leaders insisted at night that they were making no fresh demands even as one PDP leader admitted to IANS that the talks between the two parties had reached a dead end.
"We are not ready to accept any new demand. Whatever expectations are there would be possibly fulfilled only after the formation of a government," Bharatiya Janata Party general secretary Ram Madhav told reporters here.
"It's not possible to form the government on conditions," he added, striking a new aggression that had been missing until now in the dragging negotiations between the two former allies.
Ram Madhav spoke a day after PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti met BJP president Amit Shah here.
That meeting was widely expected to lead to a meeting, probably on Friday, between Mehbooba Mufti, daughter of late chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The meeting didn't take place. Both BJP and PDP sources said they have their fingers crossed over a possible meeting between the two leaders on Saturday.
Ram Madhav also said that the stalemate in Jammu and Kashmir was not because of the BJP but due to the PDP.
"The prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir is not because of us. After Mufti Saheb's death, PDP had to choose a leader for the chief minister's post," he said.
It was the closest the BJP has come to publicly blaming Mehbooba Mufti for the political uncertainty in Jammu and Kashmir, which has been under Governor's Rule since she declined to form the government in January after her father died.
Soon after Ram Madhav spoke, PDP sources told IANS that efforts to form a government had hit a dead end as the BJP had refused to accept the demands of the PDP.
A senior PDP leader said the PDP was unlikely to form a government again with the BJP.
But a few hours later, senior PDP leader and MP Muzaffar Hussain Baig clarified to IANS that his party had no fresh demands and there "was some misunderstanding in the BJP".
"They are not able to understand what our leader is saying," he added. Baig added that the PDP remained committed to the agenda of alliance which had been agreed to by Mufti Sayeed and Modi, leading to a PDP-BJP alliance government in Jammu and Kashmir in March last year.
The PDP and BJP formed a coalition government after elections threw up a fractured mandate.
Also on Friday, former chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah poked fun at the PDP, demanding to know what was wrong with the Mufti-led agenda of alliance.
"It seems she (Mehbooba) didn't know what she wanted from the centre, and got tripped up because her demands were too vague and her response too erratic," he tweeted.
"Watch how Mehbooba Mufti will now try and claim that her party wasn't asking for anything new and how the PM has let down Jammu and Kashmir," he added.
(Aadil Mir can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)