aitley effect: Hectic parleys over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir

NEW DELHI: Hectic parleys have started again to end the deadlock over the government formation in Jammu and Kashmir.

State Administrative Council (SAC) led by Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra postponed its crucial meeting on Tuesday to finalise budget at the last moment indicating a thaw between PDP and BJP over government formation.
Though no reason was given for the postponement, sources said it was done to send a positive signal that the Governor’s administration does not want to encroach upon the domain of the popular government.

Earlier the SAC was scheduled to meet and finalise the budget since there was no government formation in sight. Things changed rapidly after Union finance minister Arun Jaitley promised that the Centre will speedily implement all the projects announced as part of special package announced by the Prime Minister to Jammu and Kashmir.
“Prime Minister has announced a special package for J&K. We want that the three regions of the J&K are developed very fast,” Jaitley said in a reply to the debate on Budget in the Lok Sabha.
PDP has been insisting that the Centre should announce some confidence building measures (CBMs) to give new government a fillip before they are sworn in under the leadership of Mehbooba Mufti in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Our finance minister has said it on the floor of house which is a temple of democracy. What more assurances does PDP want? PDP too should now realize that when one commits in the parliament there is no going back. We hope PDP will come around and hopefully the government should be in place very soon,” said a BJP leader.
PDP too seems to have softened its rhetoric after Jaitley statement and readying to discuss modalities for the government formation. “It seems BJP has realized that our demand for CBMs were genuine. Jaitley’s statement is encouraging. Hope something will be announced soon”, said a PDP leader.
Jammu and Kashmir is under governor’s rule since January 9, two days after the death of chief minister Mufti Mohommad Sayeed. The PDP-BJP alliance had failed to reach to the consensus given the demand from Mehbooba Mufti for announcing CBMs to create positive atmosphere before the new government logs in.
PDP has been demanding vacating of private lands from the occupation of the security forces, handing over the NHPC run power projects to state government, engaging separatists in talks and renegotiating the economic package to give more compensation to the flood hit people of the state.