The BJP’s decimation in Delhi will not impact the government formation in Jammu and Kashmir but it has certainly given the Peoples Democratic Party an upper hand in the power sharing talks between the two parties.
It has been 50 days since the declaration of results of the J&K assembly elections but the two parties are yet to start a structured dialogue on the government formation. PDP sources told HT that their party has already spelled out its agenda for forming a coalition government and the ball was now in the BJP’s court. But they dismissed suggestions the Delhi polls outcome would prompt a rethink in the PDP on an alliance with the BJP.
The PDP’s terms for alliance include gradual removal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, talks with Pakistan and Kashmiri separatist leaders and return of hydro power projects to the state.
PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has made it clear that the Article 370 should be made non-negotiable to “protect the state’s political and demographic character”. The abrogation of Article 370 along with construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya and a common civil code has been the core of the BJP’s agenda. “We have set out our agenda and we stand firm on it,” PDP spokesperson Naeem Akhtar said. In their informal talks with the BJP, PDP leaders are giving a final shape to the common minimum programme and structured dialogue is expected to follow.