SRINAGAR: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have almost finalized alliance to form coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir, where electorate gave fractured mandate in the recently-held elections for J&K Assembly.
Sources said PDP and BJP, which have been engaged in informal talks since declaration of results on December 23, have made a headway in government formation talks.
“The two parties have almost finalized the alliance talks to form government in the State,” they said adding the most contentious issues like BJP’s demand for revocation Article 370 and PDP’s call for revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) will not be part of the Common Minimum Programme (CMP).
They said the contentious issues will continue to remain on the agenda of the parties. “However, less contentious issues may be incorporated in CMP”.
Sources said the development will be the main thrust and focus of the PDP-BJP coalition government.
PDP with 28 seats emerged as single largest party in 87-member J&K Assembly and BJP close second with 25 seats. National Conference and Congress got 15 and 12 seats respectively while smaller parties and independents won seven seats.
Sources said PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed will be chief minister for full six year term in the State. “Deputy Chief Minister will be from BJP,” they said adding other important portfolios would be shared by the two parties.
PDP chief spokesperson Naeem Akhtar said the talks with BJP are going on right direction.
He said the coalition government between the two parties will be formed on the basis of CMP.
“The CMP has not yet been finalized. The moment it is finalized, the announcement about alliance would be made,” he said.
On Article 370 and AFSPA, Akhtar said these are very important issues not only for the party but for entire country.
On elections to four Rajya Sabha seats in the State, he said party has entered into seat-sharing arrangement with BJP.
Both PDP and BJP will contest two seats each and are likely to win at least three out of four seats. In the fourth seat, independent legislators hold the key.
National Conference and Congress have also joined hands and fielded senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition (LoP) Ghulam Nabi Azad as joint candidate for RS polls from the State. Besides, NC has also fielded two of its own candidates – Nasir Aslam Wani and Sajjad Kichloo.
In a related development, BJP delegation comprising party’s general secretary Ram Madhav, J&K BJP president and MP Jugal Kishore and recently elected MLA Nirmal Singh called on State Governor N N Vohra at Raj Bhavan, Jammu today.
“During the one hour meeting, Madhav informed the Governor about the present status of the ongoing BJP-PDP discussions on the formation of the elected Government in the State,” an official spokesperson said.
Senior PDP leader, banker and recently elected MLA Haseeb Drabu also called on Governor today.
“He apprised the Governor about the realizations which have emerged from the PDP-BJP parleys on government formation which have been continuing for the past about a month and the broad contours of the matters being finalized in the coming days,” Governor’s spokesperson said.
Sources in PDP and BJP said leaders of both the parties informed Governor that they have almost finalized the alliance and government will be formed soon.
“The coalition government will be formed in the State after February 7, when elections to Delhi Assembly and four RS seats in J&K will be held,” they said.