SRINAGAR: The PDP on Thursday said it had made a headway in government formation talks with the BJP and would begin formal talks in Delhi soon.
“Some progress has been made on framing the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) with the BJP for forming the coalition government in the state,” PDP chief spokesperson Naeem Akhtar told Express.
The PDP and the BJP have been holding informal talks on government formation in the state since December 23, when the results for the J&K Assembly elections were declared.
The PDP, with 28 seats, emerged the single largest party in the Assembly and the BJP a close second with 25 seats. The National Conference and the Congress got 15 and 12 seats respectively, while smaller parties and independent candidates won seven seats. The PDP and the saffron party have been trying to come to a compromise on key issues like Article 370, lifting of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, settlement of West Pakistan Refugees and the resumption of talks with Pakistan and separatists.
A senior PDP leader and close aide of party patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said differences on contentious issues had been sorted out. He added that it was decided Article 370 would not be touched upon and decisions on settling refugees in the state would be taken on the basis of consensus.
He said the BJP had assured them that the AFSPA would be lifted from peaceful areas after due consultation with the Defence Ministry and Army in Kashmir. “The BJP has also assured us that talks with Pakistan and separatists would be resumed at an appropriate time, he said.
The PDP leader said the party leadership had finalised a team of six leaders, who would be holding formal talks with the BJP.
“Senior leader and MP Muzaffar Hussain Baig, MP Tariq Hameed Karra, MLAs Haseeb Drabu, Syed Altaf Bukhari, MLC and party spokesperson Naeem Akhtar, besides Jammu-based leader Vikramaditya Singh will be party representatives in structured dialogue with the PDP,” he said.
The PDP leader said a structured dialogue would be held at the national capital on Friday or Saturday.
On the Chief Minister’s post, the PDP leader said Mufti Sayeed would be the CM of the state for six years.
“The Deputy Chief Minister will be from the BJP. The important portfolios of Home and Finance will also be looked after by the PDP,” he said. When asked whether a meeting between Mufti Sayeed and PM Narendra Modi has been fixed, PDP spokesman Naeem Akhtar said no such meeting has been scheduled.