Negotiations between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for Government formation in Jammu and Kashmir have intensified with both sides giving final shape to Common Minimum Programme (CMP) amid speculation that party patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed will soon meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi for sealing the deal.
More than 50 days after state polls threw a highly- fractured mandate, the two parties have been holding discussions on ironing out differences on issues like abrogation of Article 370, controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act, adoption of soft-stand vis-a-vis separatists and granting of special status to the state.
PDP, which has 28 MLAs in the 87-member Assembly, has formed a team of six people to begin the structured dialogue with the BJP. It includes MPs Muzzafar Hussain Baig and Tariq Hameed Qara, chief spokesman Naeem Akthar, MLAs Hasseb Drabu and Altaf Bhukari and Vikramaditya Singh all of whom will be arriving in the national capital tomorrow.
The team is expected to tomorrow meet Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who was nominated by the BJP along with Arun Singh, for negotiating with parties in the state for government formation, sources said. BJP has 25 MLAs in the state Assembly.
This may be followed by a meeting between Sayeed and Modi to seal the deal, sources said.
BJP has in-principle agreed for a six-year term for Sayeed while the party will hold the post of Deputy Chief Minister which is expected to be given to state BJP leader Nirmal Singh.
After hectic negotiations between the two parties in Mumbai and Chandigarh, it was agreed that PDP will keep the Home portfolio and BJP may get the finance.
Akthar said the results was an opportunity for both PDP as well as BJP to bring normalcy to the state.
Asked about a possible Sayeed-Modi meeting, he said “nothing is scheduled”.
“For us, finalisation of government has to be preceded by a CMP which is must. What will be the use of the government which will not be able to deliver on the ground,” he said, adding, “once the CMP is finalised, the government formation will be purposeful.”
PDP had been offered support by National Conference which has 15 MLAs and Congress which has 12 to form the government but it started negotiations with BJP, which made historic electoral gains in the state for the first time.