SRINAGAR: With Delhi Assembly elections and Rajya Sabha polls in Jammu and Kashmir over, the structured dialogue on government formation in the State between Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and saffron party BJP is expected to begin this week.
“We were waiting for Delhi elections and RS polls in the State. Now that both election processes have ended, the structured dialogue on government formation between BJP and PDP will begin this week. It can even begin tomorrow,” a senior J&K BJP leader said.
He said some headway has been made in the informal talks, which were going on after declaration of results of J&K Assembly on December 23.
The BJP leader said once the structured dialogue on government formation with PDP starts, some sort of solution would be arrived on the contentious issues like Article 370, Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Settlement of West Pakistan Refugees (WPRs), etc.
He said party’s national general secretary Ram Madhav will lead BJP in the formal talks with PDP. “Some State party leaders will also be part of the talks committee that would be headed by Ram Madhav”.
“Ram Madhav and top State party leaders have already held discussions with BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi and finalized the strategy for the talks,” the BJP leader said.
He expressed the hope that the BJP-PDP coalition government based on Common Minimum Programme (CMP) would be formed in the State soon, thus ending over a month long Governor’s rule in the State.
Governor’s rule was imposed in J&K on January 8 after Omar Abdullah refused to continue as caretaker Chief Minister of the State and none of the party was able to cobble an alliance to form government in the State.
PDP with 28 seats has emerged as single largest party in 87-member J&K Assembly, elections for which were held in November-December. BJP with 25 seats is close second while National Conference and Congress won 15 and 12 seats respectively. The smaller parties and independents won seven seats.
A PDP leader, who is expected to represent party in formal talks with BJP, said the structured dialogue between the two parties on government formation will begin this week.
He said both the parties have made their stands on key issues known to each other in the informal talks. “And during formal talks, the party leaders with mandate of their respective parties will attempt to hammer out solution to the contentious issue and arrive at a consensus on CMP, the main thrust of which would be development”.
The PDP leader said the likely defeat of BJP in Delhi polls as is being projected in exit polls will make the saffron party less demanding during talks on government formation.
“It will make the saffron party to be more flexible on some contentious issues like Article 370, West Pakistan refugees issue and revocation of AFSPA from the State,” he said.
The PDP leader, however, said government formation in the State will still take some time as they “are not in hurry and will ensure that CMP is formed in such a way that larger interests of the people of the State, especially strife-torn hit Valley are served”.