JK Govt Formation: PDP-BJP in Last Ditch Efforts

KL Report

SRINAGAR

The back channel talks between PDP and BJP have entered a ‘decisive’ mode on Monday and efforts are on to get a way out on all contentious issues by today evening.

Sources privy to the developments told Kashmir Life that the partial and gradual withdrawal of APSPA has created some disagreement between the parties.

BJP according to sources has accepted that APSFA is in the state government’s domain and it can anytime withdraw the Disturbed Area Act, “however army is a party to the issue”.

Sources said that terminology used in the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) is also creating some friction however the two parties are discovering the mutually agreeable phrases.

BJP, according to reports wants ‘status quo ante’ be maintained for J&K instead of ‘respecting Article 370’.

The party had avoided using ‘abrogation’ of article 370 during its electoral campaigning in J&K and wants its partner to respect that.

Sources said that BJP is ‘aghast’ over making CMP a ‘public debate’ even before it is finalised.

Meanwhile, PDP President Mehbooba Mufti was among dignitaries who attended the wedding reception of BJP chief Amit Shah’s son on Sunday.

Meanwhile, reports from Delhi suggest the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has rejected the Common Minimum Programme reportedly reached between the BJP and the People’s Democratic Party ahead of the formation of the next government in Jammu and Kashmir.

The ideological mentor of the BJP slammed the saffron party for its ‘compromise’ on the Uniform Civil Code, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

In its manifesto for the state Assembly elections, the PDP had promised the removal of AFSPA from Jammu and Kashmir for its alleged misuse by the Indian Army in its anti-militancy operations.

The message from the RSS came even as the BJP and the People’s Democratic Party are busy finalising the details of the Common Minimum Programme they reportedly reached last week to form the next Jammu and Kashmir government before February 23.

Under the agreement, the PDP will get the chief minister’s post while BJP’s Nirmal Singh is likely to be the Deputy CM.

Jammu and Kashmir elected a hung Assembly after the votes of the five-phased election were counted on December 23 last year with the PDP emerging as the single largest party with 28 seats in the 87-member House. The BJP emerged as the second largest party with 25 seats followed by the National Conference at 15 and Congress with 12. Smaller parties and independents won seven seats.

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