Raising prospects of striking a deal on government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, Congress and PDP tonight "covered a lot of ground" on a common minimum programme and chief Mufti Mohd Sayeed will meet Sonia Gandhi tomorrow to sort out the contentious issue of chief ministership, senior Congress leader Arjun Singh said.
Earlier, crucial talks on formation of the new Government in Jammu and Kashmir were held tonight between senior leaders of the Congress and PDP in a bid to break the deadlock and form a coalition in the state.
PDP leader Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, who arrived here this evening was accompanied in the talks by his daughter and party Vice-President Mehbooba Mufti and the other Vice President Muzaffar Hassan Baig.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Manmohan Singh, who recently visited Srinagar to hold parleys with Mufti and leaders of other like minded parties and senior Congress leader Arjun Singh are participating in the talks with the PDP.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi has authorised Manmohan Singh and Arjun Singh to hold talks with Mufti.
Soon after his arrival here, Mufti struck an optimistic note on Government formation by likening the difficulties in the matter to "birth pangs".
"People of Jammu and Kashmir has given us a golden opportunity by defeating the National Conference.We should evolve a sort of consensus, a common minimum programme to face the challenge to end the turmoil in the state", he told reporters.
"Being a national party, Congress has national concerns. We are a regional platform having regional aspirations. We will certainly iron out (the problems) and find a way out. People who have participated in the polls in difficult circumstances, would force us".