SRINAGAR: Seven days after results of 87-member J&K Assembly elections were announced, there has been no headway in talks on government formation in the State between PDP and BJP with Mufti Mohammad Sayeed not ready for compromise on CM’s post and sticking to his guns on key issues.
BJP vice president Ram Madhav and State party president Jugal Kishore met State Governor N N Vohra today and brief him about efforts being made by party in government formation. PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti will meet him tomorrow to discuss government formation.
A senior BJP leader said the parleys between PDP and BJP on government formation are going on at different levels.
“There, however, has been no forward movement as both parties are resorting to bargaining to gain maximum leverage before coming up with Common Minimum Programme (CMP) for running the coalition government,” he said.
Sources said Mufi is not relenting and giving up its position on key issues including Article 370, Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), resumption of dialogue with Pakistan, and self rule advocating dual currency and softening of borders.
They said PDP is also not ready to show any flexibility on CM’s post. “The party wants CM’s post for six-year’s tenure and does not want rotational CM. The party has categorically said there can be no compromise on CM’s post”.
Sources said BJP is trying to woo Mufti on developmental plank. “The party has assured all possible central assistance to Mufti but he being a shrewd politician is demanding political guarantees from the saffron party”.
The election results in J&K threw up a hung Assembly with PDP emerging as the single-largest party with 28 seats and BJP close second with 25 seats, all from Jammu region. NC and Congress won 15 and 12 seats respectively while the smaller parties and independent candidates won seven seats.
PDP chief spokesman Naeem Akhtar told Express that Mufti continued internal deliberations with party leaders, newly elected legislators and civil society members for third successive day today on forming government with BJP.
“The internal deliberations are on but there has been no consensus on alliance with saffron party. The discussions will continue,” he said.
He, however, asserted that party won’t compromise on its principles and ideology.
In a related development, two-member BJP delegation comprising party’s vice president Ram Madhav and State president Jugal Kishore met J&K Governor N N Vohra and apprised him of their efforts about government formation.
“Madhav and Kishore apprised Governor that since parties with varied ideologies, commitments and issues have got mandate in Jammu and Kashmir regions, it would take further time for the party to cobble up coalition for forming government in the State,” a senior BJP leader said.
He said party leaders will again meet Governor on January 1 and submit a proposal on government formation to him.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti will be meeting Governor in Raj Bhavan, Jammu tomorrow to discuss government formation in the State. She left for the winter capital today.
Both Mehbooba and J&K BJP president were invited for discussion on government formation by Governor last week.
Congress, which has got 12 seats and offered unconditional support to PDP in government formation, today praised PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and cautioned him of alliance with the saffron party.
“I would only like to caution Mufti Sayeed on dangers of a miniscule minority here in Kashmir, who suggest development plank for seeking special favour from the ruling class in Delhi, if PDP decides to forge an alliance with the BJP,” J&K Congress chief and MP Saif-ud-Din Soz said.
He advised Mufti to reject this short–sightedness and ask these elements to see the facts clearly and know for certain that India is a democracy and its institutions have become strong over the decades.
NC has also offered unconditional support to PDP in government formation while senior Congress leader and former J&K Chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has proposed grand alliance of NC-Congress-PDP to keep BJP away.