For years, they have been arch political rivals, rarely seeing eye-to-eye. But Wednesday evening saw all of that change when Omar Abdullah retweeted Mehbooba Mufti four times in a span of 15 minutes. The common ground between them: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik dissolving the state assembly right after Ms Mufti tweeted that she wanted to stake claim to form government with the support of Omar Abdullah's National Conference and the Congress.
"And I never thought I'd be retweeting anything you said while agreeing with you. Politics truly is a strange world. Good luck for the battle ahead. Once again the wisdom of the people will prevail," Omar Abdullah wrote while retweeting Ms Mufti's message expressing gratitude to him Congress's Ambika Soni and him.
In my twenty six year old career as a politician, I thought I had seen it all! But like they say never say never! Nevertheless, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to @OmarAbdullah and @Ambikasoni4 ji for helping us achieve the seemingly impossible. 1/4- Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) November 21, 2018
Satya Pal Malik abruptly dissolved the state assembly after the three parties - Mehbooba Mufti's Peoples Democratic Party, National Conference and the Congress - came together, and to counter them Peoples Conference leader Sajad Lone with the support of the BJP and 18 legislators from other parties, staked claim to form the government.
Questioning the timing of the dissolution, Ms Mufti, in a series of tweets, said since the past five months, regardless of political affiliations, "We shared the view that the state assembly be dissolved immediately to avert horse trading and defections... Oddly enough our pleas fell on deaf ears. But who would have thought that the very idea of a grand coalition would give such jitters."
In a lighter vein, Ms Mufti tweeted, "In today's age of technology, it is very strange that the fax machine at the Governor's residence didn't receive our fax but swiftly issued one regarding the assembly dissolution."
Ms Mufti, the former chief minister, had tried to fax her letter intimating the governor that she would want to stake claim to form the government, but the fax machine at the Jammu and Kashmir Raj Bhavan reportedly wasn't working.
All these four tweets were retweeted by Mr Abdullah.
Ms Mufti, in her letter to the Governor had said that with a strength of 29 legislators of its own, her PDP would have a collective strength of 56 legislators including 15 of the National Conference and 12 of the Congress, easily crossing the majority mark of 44.
In the 87-member House, the BJP has 25 legislators, all from Jammu; Sajad Lone's Peoples Conference has two legislators.
Today's developments come five months after the BJP pulled out of the Mehbooba Mufti government leading to the fall of the PDP-BJP collation that lasted for over two years.
The political developments also assume significance in view of the fact that the tenure of Governor's rule was set to end next month, which would have been followed by the President's rule if no government was formed.
With inputs from PTI and IANS
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