Government formation: BJP, PDP come closer to alliance in Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu(DNA): Hopes of the impasse over government formation ending have brightened in the restive Jammu and Kashmir. A high powered J&K state BJP core group is meeting the party’s central leadership on Monday to discuss the possible alliance in a bid to end impasse over the government formation. The group would be meeting the BJP president Amit Shah in national capital to discuss political situation and give their inputs about the possible alliance in Jammu and Kashmir.

“There will be some breakthrough very soon. We will be sharing our inputs with the leadership in New Delhi,” Kavinder Gupta, newly elected MLA from Gandhi Nagar and former Jammu Mayor, told dna. The BJP has already begun consultations with the PDP at various levels. A BJP leader, on condition of anonymity, said party veteran L K Advani discussed government formation in the state with PDP leader Mufti Mohammad Sayeed over telephone.

BJP’s state vice president Ramesh Arora said top party leaders are in touch with Mufti. “I cannot say whether Advani has called Mufti or not but I can confirm that our top leaders are in touch with Mufti,” he said, adding it would take some time for the party to cobble up a coalition for forming the government in the State. Sources said BJP was trying to woo Mufti on the developmental plank and package for the unemployed youth. The party has assured all possible central assistance to Mufti but he is demanding political guarantees from the saffron party.

BJP general secretary Ram Madhav is scheduled to be in Kashmir in a few days with a mandate from his party to meet the top PDP leadership over the issue of government formation. Sources said he will call on Mufti Muhammad Sayeed at his residence, the sources said.

Madhav has already met some leaders from PDP including Muzaffar Hussain Baig and held deliberations over government formation.

After his visit, BJP leader and union minister Arun Jaitley is likely to hold discussions with Sayeed on telephone next week, which will set in motion the process of structured talks between the leaders on the two sides, sources said. Jaitley, one of prime minister Narendra Modi’s key advisors on J&K, had spoken to Mufti days after the elections were announced in the state and held deliberations over the possible BJP-PDP tie up in the state. Sources said the PDP was trying to buy time over government formation. It is understood that BJP has conceded some of the demands the PDP had communicated in a 6-point charter through an intermediary on

December 26, including the full 6-year term to Mufti as the chief minister and talks with Pakistan to pursue former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee’s peace building ideas. In its effort to be in government in the state, the BJP has given in to some of PDP’s demands, while refusing to give up on its position on Article 370, a top BJP source said. “We have communicated to PDP what can be the Common Minimum Programme for a healing touch with effective governance in the state. We are also in favour of taking forward talks with Pakistan over a period of time,” the source said.

The only sticking point in the BJP’s response is refusal to the PDP’s demand for holding talks with the separatist leaders until they commit allegiance to the Indian Constitution, the party leader said. Even while disagreeing on the demand to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the BJP document assures that the security forces won’t be allowed to misuse the powers granted under the Act.

Time for constituting the new assembly is running out as the term of current House ends on January 18. If the assembly is not constituted by then, the state may be placed under the governor’s rule. BJP with 25 MLAs has emerged as the second largest party after PDP with 28. The BJP has the support of two MLAs of former separatist Sajad Lone led People’s Conference. NC has got 15 seats, followed by Congress with 12. “And while we are on the subject let me reiterate that neither I nor my father are discussing any sort of alliance with the BJP. Period”, Omar Abdullah tweeted. Omar is likely to reach Kashmir from London next week to chair a meeting of his party.

Posted by on January 5, 2015. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.