SRI NAGAR: After a month-long stalemate, the PDP and the BJP have started back-channel talks to form a government in the state that has been under Governor’s rule since the death of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who led a PDP-BJP coalition government for 10 months.
“PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti’s demand of renegotiation of the common minimum progamme named ‘Agenda of Alliance’ and J&K-specific confidence building measures from the Centre are being discussed,” a source said.
The 56-year-old Mehbooba was tipped to take over as Chief Minister after the death of Sayeed, her father. “Like the PDP, we too want the implementation of Agenda of Alliance, which was framed by the two parties after tough negotiations last year,” a BJP leader said. He said the party’s central leadership may offer Mehbooba assurances on some issues — more Central funds for carrying developmental activities in the State and no “unnecessary” interference. “She will also be assured that Centre is not averse to holding talks with the separatists when the situation is conducive for such talks.”
PDP sources also confirmed the talks. Sources said the BJP’s point man on Kashmir, Ram Madhav, would meet Mehbooba on February 15, when the 40-day mourning period for her father ends.