The postponement of an expected meeting today between PDP patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has triggered speculation about any last minute hitches on key issues that could form the basis for the formation of a coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir.
PDP sources maintained that a broad agreement has been arrived at between the party and BJP on all issues including Article 370 of the Constitution that grants special status to J and K, AFSPA and resettlement of West Pakistan Refugees and that the new Government is likely to be sworn-in on March one with Sayeed as Chief Minister for a full tenure of six years.
Opposition parties National Conference and Congress have termed the way in which talks for an alliance government has dragged on for weeks as mere posturing by PDP and BJP and claimed that both the parties have already arrived at a consensus and were making attempts to fool people of the state.
The meeting between PDP patron and the Prime Minister is now scheduled for Friday morning after which the date for government formation is likely to be announced.
At the meeting between the two leaders, final touches to a “comprehensive document” for governance might be given and after that it will be released in the state by both the parties.
Though March 1, considered as an ‘auspicious day’, is being favoured by both the parties for the swearing-in in Jammu, PDP chief spokesman Naeem Akhtar said “a final decision on oath taking will be taken only after the meeting between the PDP patron and the Prime Minister”.
During the meeting, Sayeed is expected to invite Modi for the swearing-in function. This is for the first time that BJP will be part of the government in the sensitive state.
Ahead of the meeting between Sayeed and Modi, both the parties are likely to meet tomorrow for finalisation of the Cabinet. Nirmal Singh of BJP is expected to be the Deputy Chief Minister having the portfolio of Planning.
Sayeed is expected to hold the portfolio of Home and newly elected PDP MLA Haseeb Drabu may be the new Finance Minister.
Presidents of both the parties—Mehbooba Mufti of PDP and Amit Shah of BJP—met here yesterday after which they announced formation of a coalition government in the state.
Shah tweeted after the meeting that “glory will be restored in the ‘Jewel of the Crown’, BJP-PDP Govt will take J and K to new heights by ensuring Good Governance and Development.”
The December 23 election results saw a highly-fractured mandate with PDP emerging as single largest party with 28 MLAs followed by BJP with 25. Erstwhile allies National Conference and Congress ended with 15 and 12 seats respectively.
BJP and PDP, which have been in negotiations for nearly two months now, have ironed out all the differences over contentious issues including Article 370, Armed Forces Special Powers Act, resettlement of West Pakistan Refugees and holding talks with Pakistan and separatist leaders of the state.