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Decks Cleared in Jammu and Kashmir for PDP-BJP Government

Published: 22nd February 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd February 2015 08:47 AM   |  A+A-

Mufti-Mohammed-Mehbooba-Muf

SRINAGAR:After about two months of hard negotiations, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the BJP have sorted out differences on contentious issues and almost finalised the Common Minimum Programme (CMP), and are expected to announce a deal on government formation in Jammu and Kashmir in the next couple of days.

“We have almost finalised the CMP and the coalition government will be based on this,”  J&K BJP general secretary (Organisation) Ashok Kaul told Express. He confirmed that the two parties have sorted out differences on some key issues on which they had varied ideologies and stands. “There are no hiccups and the government formation between the two parties will be announced in a few days,” Kaul said.

The BJP central leadership had on Friday summoned the party’s core group to New Delhi. 

The state BJP leaders have asked the party’s central leadership to give thrust in the CMP to good governance and development in the state. After hectic parleys, sources said, the BJP and the PDP, which had emerged as the two leading parties in the 87-member J&K Assembly with 28 and 25 seats, respectively, have ironed out their differences on contentious issues of Article 370, AFSPA and West Pakistan Refugees (WPRs).

“The PDP has also dropped its insistence on getting a written assurance from the saffron party on Article 370, AFSPA and WPRs. The wordings on these issues in the CMP will reflect the principles of the two parties,” they said.

According to sources, the BJP has assured the PDP that it would not tinker with Article 370. “On AFSPA, the two parties have agreed to form a committee to recommend a gradual and time-bound revocation of the law from some peaceful areas in the state,” they said.

The sources also said the PDP has agreed to deviate from its stand of self-rule in J&K as was advocated in its manifesto for the Assembly polls. “It has also agreed to consider the issue of West Pakistan Refugees, who had been living in J&K since 1947, as a humanitarian issue. The party is not reluctant to grant citizenship rights to over 25,000 WPRs living in the state. However, it wants to evolve a consensus among the political parties in J&K on the issue,” they said.

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