SRINAGAR: The PDP and BJP on Saturday staked claim to form the government in Jammu and Kashmir, to be headed by 56-year-old Mehbooba Mufti, but the two parties are yet to agree on a date for the new government to take oath.
Mehbooba accompanied by PDP MPs Tariq Hamid Kara and Muzaffar Hussain Baig and BJP legislature party leader Nirmal Singh called on Governor N N Vohra at the Raj Bhavan in Jammu this forenoon.
“The leaders of the two parties handed over separate letters to the Governor,” a Raj Bhavan spokesman said. He said the PDP letter informed the Governor about the resolution of PDP legislators to elect Mehbooba as its legislature party leader and nominating her for the Chief Minister’s post. “State BJP president Sat Pal Sharma in his letter to the Governor said that the BJP legislature party had decided to extend support to the PDP in forming a coalition government,” the spokesman said.
After the meeting, Mehbooba, who is set to become first woman chief minister, told reporters that the new government would complete its term and work on an agenda of peace, reconciliation and development. She thanked the BJP for extending unconditional support to the PDP for forming the coalition government.
Justifying the party’s alliance with the saffron party, the PDP chief said the coalition was formed after people gave mandate to the two parties in two regions of the State. Mehbooba said she was happy that both coalition parties during the past two-and-a-half months have reiterated that they would implement the Agenda of Alliance (AoA) to provide good governance to the people. “It (AoA) will be implemented unitedly by both the parties for development, peace and reconciliation in the State”.
Stating that good governance is very important as the State has a different situation, she said, “The Central government needs to address the issues politically, socially, and economically. I am happy that we have got assurances at the highest level from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely and BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav”.
Asked when the oath-taking ceremony would be held, the PDP chief replied that both the parties would take a decision on the date very soon. Sources have told Express there are differences between the two parties on allotment of some key portfolios.
“BJP is demanding at least a key portfolio from PDP in return for giving a full term to Mehbooba as CM. Our party leaders are pressing PDP to at least give us a significant portfolio. They are pressing for either Finance, Planning, R&B or MoS Home portfolio,” sources in the BJP said.