The sealed deal between the BJP and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has hit a last-minute hitch with two parties resuming fresh rounds of negotiations on remaining sticky points just a day after PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and BJP president Amit Shah’s annoucncement on government formation in New Delhi.
Sources close to the development told the Hindustan Times that failure to hit a common ground till Wednesday afternoon may delay PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which was earlier scheduled for February 26-27. The swearing-in ceremony, scheduled for March 1, too may be delayed if the two parties do not reach a consensus till Thursday.
Sources said the BJP has raised certain reservations on the propositions made by the PDP on tackling internal and external dimension of political problem of Jammu and Kashmir, where separatists continue to hold significant influence.
“The negotiations are on. There are some remaining points,” said a top PDP leader on the condition of anonymity.
PDP patron Sayeed remained stay put in Jammu residence meeting party leaders over fresh hitch. The PDP is planning to invite PM Modi for swearing in ceremony of Mufti as chief minister for secdond time. PM Modi is likely to visit Jammu too if the two paries iron out the differeces fast.
The two parties have already agreed on an alliance agenda document, which will remain their guiding force to rule the state for the next six years, which puts a moratorium on contentious political issues but puts thrust on governance and development of the state.
Sources said the two parties have reached an agreement on most contentious issues like Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Article 370 but the BJP fear political backlash if concessions on external and internal dimensions are granted to the PDP, sources close to the negotiations in New Delhi told the HT.
Meanwhile, to ease frayed nerves, the PDP on Wednesday showed willingness to join the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the near future in the Centre too. “There is a high possibility to join the NDA. Though a final decision will come at an appropriate time, we never ruled it out,” one of the Sayeed’s advisors told the HT on the condition of anonymity.
BJP will be ruling the state first time ever when the PDP-BJP alliance takes over the reins.