The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may soon set up a committee of its senior leaders to hold formal talks with the Peoples Democratic Party to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir.
The party is hopeful of becoming part of the government, which will be a first for the saffron party in the state, two weeks after the assembly polls threw up a hung mandate.
“There has been some initiative from the PDP’s side. To take this forward, we discussed holding more discussions on the issues (with PDP),” BJP general secretary Ram Madhav told reporters after a review meeting. The PDP is the single largest party with 28 seats – 6 short of majority in the 87 member J&K assembly – while the BJP is the second largest group with 25 seats.
BJP’s core group leaders from J&K met BJP president Amit Shah at his residence here to take stock of the progress made in negotiations with the PDP. A BJP source told HT that the issue of chief ministership was discussed at the meeting and there was the admission that the PDP would not leave its claim on the top post.
Madhav remained non-committal about BJP’s claim for the CM’s post, but sources claim that the proposed committee of party leaders may explore possibilities of a rotational CM.
“The committee will also discuss a common minimum programme and how certain controversial issues could be articulated,” a BJP leader said.
The PDP is averse to BJP raking up the demand for abrogation of Article 370, which provides special status to Kashmir, while the latter wants the J&K party to pipe down its demand for revoking the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.