Government Formation: Modi Takes Over Personally?



The PDP leader, Ms. Mehbooba Mufti meeting the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, in New Delhi on March 22, 2016.
The PDP leader, Ms. Mehbooba Mufti meeting the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in New Delhi on March 22, 2016.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has personally taken over the responsibility of ensuring the formation of government in J&K. He has asked his party leaders not to get involved, informed sources said.

In the PM-Mehbooba meeting, there was no other person from BJP. She, however, was flanked by Dr Haseeb Drabu, former finance minister, who had earlier negotiated the Agenda of Alliance on her father’s behalf.

A series of meeting between PDP leadership and BJP leaders, especially the party president Amit Shah and national secretary general Ram Madhav failed. It was failure of these meetings that prevented a meeting of Ms Mufti and Prime Minister Modi last week suggesting that everything was over.

However, situation improved later when the Prime Minister was personally involved in salvaging the crisis. Interestingly, some well wishers had suggested Ms Mufti to talk directly to the Prime Minister and convey her concerns to him because he is the ultimate authority to accept any demand or reject it.

With Ms Mufti back home, she finally got a call from Raj Bhawan conveying her meeting with the Prime Minister. Sources said governor N N Vohra, whose quick-decision making on crucial issues has made him a quite popular ruler in the last two months, has played a key role in getting the two parties closer again.

Sources said to get things back on track, finance minister Arun Jaitly had issued a suo moto statement on Kashmir to clear the misunderstandings. This was used to trigger a turnaround in the nearly dead process that eventually led to the Tuesday meeting.

“It was a very positive meeting. I am satisfied with the deliberations. I will now meet the leaders from my party on Thursday and decide what is to be done,” Ms Mufti told reporter waiting outside the 7-RCR.

She, however, announced she will reveal the details of the meeting to her legislators when the party will meet on Thursday in Srinagar. It is presumed that Ms Mufti might have conveyed her point of view on the non-performing Agenda of Alliance and might have sought a speedy implementation of some of the issues listed in the CMP.

The party is expected to identify a legislative party leader in the Thursday meeting and also taken a final call on the formation of the government.

Mufti Sayeed, her father, died on January 7. Since then, J&K is under the direct Delhi rule with governor N N Vohra as the defacto ruler of the state. There were two serious attempts by the two parties to go for the government formation but it failed to take off. Ms Mufti was seeking certain assurances on key areas envisaged in the CMP but the BJP was terming it “new conditions”. The tensions were over only after Prime Minister Modi took over the process personally.

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