PDP, BJP iron out all differences; Mufti to PM Modi today

  • Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Feb 27, 2015 16:34 IST

Peoples Democratic Party patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Friday to put a final stamp on a PDP-BJP alliance as a two-month-long deadlock over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir ended after hectic last-minute negotiations.

Sayeed is expected to invite Modi for his swearing-in ceremony, likely to be held in Jammu on March 1, when the BJP becomes a part of the government in the Muslim-majority state for the first time.

The PDP patron will also address a joint press conference with the PM. Party chief Mehbooba Mufti is already in the Capital.

The BJP bagged 25 seats, sweeping the Hindu belt of Jammu in the December polls that threw up a fractured verdict. The PDP emerged the largest party in the state, winning 28 seats, most of them from the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley. Sayeed will be sworn in for a six-year term, his second stint as chief minister.

The coalition between the two ideologically divergent parties was announced by Mufti and BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday but ran into trouble a day later, as reported by HT.

The differences were ironed out after hours of deliberations in New Delhi and Jammu that spilled onto Thursday morning.

Sources said the BJP had expressed reservations over the PDP’s proposal of including Pakistan and the Hurriyat in talks to resolve the state’s political problem. The party felt this could be perceived as a climb down from its political position in the draft of the common minimum programme that will guide the alliance.

Sources close to the development said no substantial changes were made to the alliance agenda, which contains a joint approach on Article 370 – that gives special status to J&K—and the controversial Armed Forced Special Powers Act that gives overriding powers to the military. Accommodating refugees from West Pakistan, talks with separatists and confidence building measures to facilitate dialogue across the border are the other highlights of the common document.

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