Ties Loosening as Mehbooba Returns Empty-handed?

With the BJP rejecting any fresh conditions from the PDP on government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, the fate of the alliance remains uncertain.

Published: 20th March 2016 06:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th March 2016 06:14 AM   |  A+A-


Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti (File|PTI)

SRI NAGAR: With the BJP rejecting any fresh conditions from the PDP on government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, the fate of the alliance remains uncertain.

“I can’t say whether the doors between the two parties are open or closed,” PDP chief spokesman and former Education Minister Naeem Akhtar told Express. Asked whether the backchannel or direct talks between PDP and BJP would continue, he said, “I can’t say anything.”

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti’s meeting with BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi on Thursday evening failed as the saffron party ruled out government formation on the basis of conditions. Sources in the BJP said Mehbooba wanted a reframing of the “Agenda of Alliance (AoA)” by including some issues in it. After BJP’s refusal to accept her conditions, Mehbooba returned to Srinagar from Delhi on Saturday morning. She did not talk to the media after returning.

Two of her confidants, senior PDP leaders Muzaffar Hussain Baig and Haseeb Drabu, are still in New Delhi. The two along with party leaders Altaf Bukhari and Amitabh Matoo had held a series of meetings with BJP leaders before the Mehbooba-Shah meeting. BJP sources said Mehbooba had deman­ded a free hand in running the state and that at least one NHPC-run power project be returned to the State. “(BJP leader)Ram Madhav clearly asked her to first form the government and then raise issues with the centre,” the source said.

Aadil Ahmad a political analyst, said the alliance has not ended, and that Mehbooba cannot form a government without getting some concessions from the centre. “For over two months, she raised the tempo by seeking assurances on AoA and announcement of J&K-specific CBMs from the centre. Now, she cannot form the government without getting some concessions,” he said. Ahmed said PDP has already been pushed to the wall by State Governor N N Vohra, who has announced an increase in flood relief for people of J&K, the vacation of about 300 acres of state land by army, removal of 100 absentee doctors, free drug policy, and so on. “The relief to flood victims and vacation of state land by security forces were key issues of PDP. Now with the Governor fulfilling them, PDP needs something that the party can claim credit for,” he said.


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