Some last minute hiccups in PDP-BJP govt formation

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Feb 15, 2015 22:34 IST

The BJP-PDP government formation has hit a road block over the former's demand of partial revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

Sources say the two parties are trying to arrive at a consensus on the contentious issues like Article 370 and AFSPA. "While the BJP has agreed to most things, our party is insisting on wanting the word in the common minimum programme (CMP) in a certain way. It's the written document which is causing some trouble,'' said a PDP source privy to the dialogue.

Sources say while both parties have agreed in principle for the revocation of AFSPA from peaceful areas, but whether to call it a withdrawal or revocation in the CMP is causing the trouble. The Act gives the security forces immunity from prosecution and also gives authority to make arrests without warrants or kill on mere suspicion that a person can be a militant. Besides, the PDP is looking for a time frame for revocation while the BJP is reluctant to do so.

The two parties are also trying to reach a common ground on Article 370, something that is acceptable to the vote bank of both the parties. While the PDP had fought the elections with a promise to give more teeth to the Article which gives special status to the state, the BJP had insisted on abrogation of the same.

Although the PDP leaders insist that the dialogue process with the BJP was not affected by the outcome of the Delhi polls, insiders insist the PDP is in a better bargaining position post elections results.

The development took place after the two parties had given indications that a government might be formed by February 22.

Hectic back-channel negotiations regarding the government formation had been fast-tracked after the Delhi assembly elections with top the PDP leadership, including president Mehbooba Mufti and senior leaders Haseeb Drabu, Altaf Bhukari and Nayeem Akhtar holding parleys in Delhi.

Though Mehbooba insists she was in Delhi to attend the wedding reception of BJP leader Amit Shah's son, insiders say the trip is more to do with finalising the CMP.

Party sources say PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is monitoring the dialogue and insists that the PDP would not be part of the government if its demands were not met.

"Mufti Sahib doesn't want it to seem like we are blackmailing the BJP post Delhi elections, but he has insisted from the beginning that government will be formed only when BJP agrees to the alliance agenda,'' said a PDP leader.

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