BJP leader Ram Madhav addresses a press conference in New Delhi
BJP leader Ram Madhav addresses a press conference in New DelhiIANS

Bharatiya Janata Party General Secretary Ram Madhav on Saturday ruled out any possibility of the party stitching an alliance with disgruntled PDP legislators to form the government in Jammu and Kashmir.

"We are for continuing with Governor's Rule in the interest of peace, governance and development in the state," Madhav tweeted.

Madhav's remarks came amid speculation that the BJP and its partner, former secessionist Sajad Lone's Peoples Conference, were engineering a political coup in the PDP and getting the support of its rebel MLAs. At least five rebel PDP lawmakers in the state have openly spoken against former Chief Minister and party President Mehbooba Mufti.

With speculation of a new political alignment flying thick and fast, former Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah in a tweet asked Madhav about reports that the BJP's state had confessed to being party to the efforts to break the BJP.

"Power at any cost would seem to be the guiding philosophy," Abdullah took a jibe at Madhav and the BJP.

In response, Madhav wrote it was "not true". "I will certainly check with the state unit and ensure that the BJP keeps itself scrupulously out of whatever is happening in other parties in the valley."

In the house, which has been kept under suspended animation, the PDP has 28 MLAs. The BJP has 25 and enjoys the support of two legislators from Sajad Lone-led Peoples Conference and one legislator from Ladakh.

For any party to stake claim to form a government, it would require the support of 44 lawmakers.

The state's anti-defection law is tougher as compared to others. The number of legislators who defect from a party without being disqualified should be two-thirds of the party's total strength in the House. In such a situation, the number of those walking out of the PDP needs to be at least 18 to avoid disqualification.

Also, the anti-defection law also empowers House leader of a legislative party a final say about disqualifying the defectors. The speaker cannot challenge the decision.