BJP, PDP Continue Backchannel Discussions

Published: 29th December 2014 05:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th December 2014 05:59 AM   |  A+A-

SRINAGAR: Even as suspense over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir continues, back-channel talks between the PDP and the BJP are on, with the saffron party saying some issues could be put to the background, while PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has started internal consultations in the party over government formation.

“No party has got an absolute mandate in the 87-member J&K Assembly, and hence no party can claim that its manifesto should be implemented fully,” senior J&K BJP leader and Kashmir in-charge Ramesh Arora told Express. He said talks with the PDP on government formation were going on. “The process to hammer our differences and reach a consensus on a Common Minimum Programme (CMP) is a time-consuming process.”

“It will take time, as parties will have to show flexibility in their approach and agendas. The parties will have to push some issues to the background for framing a workable CMP,” Arora said.

The election results in the state threw up a hung Assembly, with the PDP emerging as the single-largest party with 28 seats and the BJP coming a close second with 25 seats. The NC and the Congress won 15 and 12 seats respectively, while smaller parties and independent candidates won seven seats.

Arora said except three points -- issue of sovereignty of state, development and regional balance, all other issues were subject to negotiations. He said an exercise was on to fix modalities and arrive at a consensus on a CMP.

“There will be a give-and-take scenario when the CMP is finalized. For power sharing in coalition, parties have to show flexibility and make compromises on some issues, as was the case during the previous NDA-rule in the country,” Arora said.

The BJP leader said they did not want imposition of Governor’s rule or re-election in the state. “We are hopeful that the state will soon get a credible and stable government.”

In a related development, PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has started internal consultations within the party on government formation.

“Mufti chaired a meeting of party leaders and newly elected legislators today (Sunday). He apprised the members of the options available with the party for government formation and sought views of the leaders and newly elected legislators,” PDP chief spokesman Naeem Akhtar told Express.

He said the party leadership was trying to evolve a consensus on government formation before meeting Governor N N Vohra, who has invited PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and state BJP president Jugal Kishore for discussion on government formation any time till January 1.

The back-channel talks between the PDP and the BJP is being seen as a positive development, and Mufti would like to keep his men informed about these talks. He would like newly elected members to seek feedback from people in their constituencies on the party’s talks with the BJP to see if there are chances of any backlash against the party in the future.

Akhtar said only informal talks have been held with the BJP so far, and structured dialogue has not started yet.


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