No End in Sight to Deadlock in Jammu and Kashmir as BJP Plays Hardball

The BJP is said to be reluctant to give a written undertaking on Article 370 and AFSPA

Published: 21st February 2015 05:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st February 2015 07:38 AM   |  A+A-

SRINAGAR:There seems to be no end in sight to the impasse in the talks between the PDP and the BJP on government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, with the latter said to be reluctant to give a written undertaking on Article 370 and Armed Forces Special Powers Act(AFSPA).

The PDP has been demanding written assurances from the BJP that the Article 370 won’t be touched, AFSPA will be removed from peaceful areas and West Pakistan Refugees (WPRs) won’t be settled in J&K before a consensus is reached among the political parties.

Sources said the BJP leaders had made it clear to the PDP that they favoured some sort of an understanding on the contentious issues for framing the Common Minimum Programme (CMP). “The BJP has informed the PDP that it won’t give any written commitment or assurance on Article 370, AFSPA, West Pakistan Refugees (WPR) issue or any other contentious matters,” they said.

The BJP’s refusal to give a written undertaking comes after the RSS  had expressed reservations over ceding ground on AFSPA and Article 370 in order to clinch the deal with the PDP.

Meanwhile, the BJP invited the PDP top brass for talks on the CMP. Sources said Article 370, AFSPA and WPR issue are the major sticking points in framing the CMP.

Further, sources said the two parties had resolved the Chief Ministership issue. “PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed will be the CM for six years while the Deputy Chief Minister will be from the BJP. It has been agreed by the parties that there would be no rotational Chief Minister in the state. And both the parties will share the key portfolios between them,” sources added.

However, a PDP leader insisted that there has to be a CMP in writing, covering all the issues. “Whatever is agreed by the two parties with respect to the CMP, should be in writing. Nothing should be based on mere understanding,” he said.

“Once the issues concerning controversial topics are sorted out, the leaders will hold structured talks to finalise the CMP. Once these issues are resolved, it won’t take much time for the two parties to forge alliance and form a stable coalition government in the state,” he added.

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