Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti met Jammu and Kashmir governor NN Vohra on Saturday, staking claim to power with ‘unconditional’ support of ally BJP.
After the meeting, Mehbooba, 56, and Nirmal Singh, leader of the BJP legislature party, told reporters that the process of government formation has begun in the state.
Jammu and Kashmir was placed under governor’s rule on January 8, a day after former chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, Mehbooba’s father, died in New Delhi.
“The vision of Mufti Muhammad Sayeed will be fulfilled with renewed vigour by our government. Mufti sahib’s vision of development and peace will be fulfilled by the coalition government to be headed by me,” Mehbooba said.
Mehbooba was tipped to take over the reins after her father’s death, but she dragged her feet on continuing to ally with the BJP and wanted it to redraw the alliance terms that the late Mufti had authored.
The BJP refused any fresh concessions and said it will only give assurances on the agenda, finalised last year when the two parties came together to form the state government.
After remaining entrenched in their respective positions for more than two months, the two sides warmed up to each other following Mehbooba’s meeting with Prime Minister Modi on Tuesday in Delhi.
“The meeting with PM was very positive , I am very satisfied,” Mehbooba said on Saturday, stressing the Centre should announce confidence-building-measures to boost BJP-PDP ties.
Asked whether there was any last-minute hitch over portfolio sharing, Mehbooba said: “Portfolios are not important. That is something we can sit together and sort out.”
BJP’s Singh said the date for the oath-taking ceremony was not decided and that a call will be taken soon.
Singh is his party’s candidate for the post of deputy CM amid speculations that there is dissent over the possible shifting of portfolios and induction of fresh faces.
Mehbooba, who will become the first woman CM of the militancy-hit state, said the time taken to form the new government was ‘worth’ the delay.
(With agency inputs)