The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the People's Democratic Party (PDP) seem to be inching closer to a deal, but government formation is being delayed as both of them are keen to get the most out of the deal by trying further.
Sources told HT that the BJP has given up its demand of getting the chief minister's chair on a rotational basis and might settle for the post being taken by PDP patron Mufti Sayeed for a full six-year term. The BJP, they added, might get the deputy chief minister's post besides some portfolios and asi it is keen on being part of the government is also likely to go soft on issues like the Article 370.
However, it's not the CM's post that's the issue any longer, a senior PDP leader said. "The issue is what else we can get the BJP to agree upon in the common minimum programme,'' he said.
The PDP spokesman Naeem Akhtar admitted that his party was in no hurry.
The alliance agenda for PDP, according to sources, is resumption of the dialogue process on Kashmir, both with Pakistan as well as separatists besides revocation of ASFPA and making Article 370 strong.
Observers say if the BJP agrees to the PDP conditions on these issues, it will wipe out some antagonism among many people in the Valley, who chose to vote for the PDP only to keep the BJP away.
"For selling the alliance to people, PDP has to get something on the paper," the senior PDP leader said.
The BJP on the other hand may like to keep their stand on the above issues on backburner for some time. "It will be a first for us in the state. Our only agenda is good governance and development," said a BJP insider.
Deliberations between the parties are on at the highest levels. The Muftis have talked to the two BJP observers, finance minister Arun Jaitley and BJP president Amit Shah, last week over phone.