Govt Formation: ‘BJP will Wait but Won’t Promise Anything New’

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

Mehbooba Mufti
Mehbooba Mufti

As Jammu and Kashmir still waits for its new government to take shape, a fortnight after chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed passed away, the BJP is in no mood to give any new “assurances” to the PDP on contentious issues, media reports said Sunday evening.

At the same time, the BJP was unlikely to create “undue pressure” at this juncture and was prepared to give PDP time to get ready for government formation, DNA’s National Bureau chief, Iftikhar Gilani reported.

As far as the BJP is concerned, it favoured retaining its terms of engagement with the PDP that existed when Mufti was chief minister, when his daughter Mehbooba Mufti steps into his shoes. The takeover is apparently not going to be as smooth as was expected.

While sources said that there have been no formal talks between the allies, there were indications that the PDP wanted certain assurances from the BJP. These included time-bound review of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and its revocation, at least from two places. The PDP has maintained that central laws in the state did not serve their purpose. The BJP had agreed to set up a review committee, but beyond that the party is unlikely to make any new promises, sources said.

The PDP is understood to be proposing that the lease for land given to security forces in the state should not be renewed, another issue on which the PDP and BJP do not see eye to eye. Return of power projects run by the National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC), an assurance given by a former Congress government, is also on the PDP’s radar.

The BJP, according to sources, sees no reason why it should give in to any of the demands. It is of the view that the PDP was trying to sort out its own dilemma and fears of losing popularity in its own constituency, going by the low attendance at Mufti’s funeral. Besides, while the National Conference had evolved through a movement and had support across sections, the PDP was not a grass root party and did not have a mass base.

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