The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday said it will not compromise with its principles to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir, asserting that it did not intend to repeat past 'sellout' accords between Delhi and Srinagar.
The PDP and BJP are in extended 'informal' government formation talks with reports that an inability to agree on two contentious issues — Article 370 and the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act — has prevented a breakthrough.
A top PDP source said the 1975 accord between the then PM Indira Gandhi and National Conference (NC) leader Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, and a 1986 agreement between Rajiv Gandhi and Farooq Abdullah were "actually sellouts to claim" power.
"In both cases, Sheikh Abdullah and Farooq assumed power after the accords… the NC has always indulged in trade-offs," the source said.
PDP leaders feel the BJP's stance on Article 370, which grants special status to J&K, has raised "apprehensions" in Kashmir that need to be addressed. "Mere assertions that we should have a dialogue on the issue will not work," said a key PDP strategist, in a sign that the party, headed by Mehbooba Mufti, was hardening its stand.
HT has reported earlier that the BJP's poll debacle in Delhi had given the regional party an upper hand in these talks.
Though both sides were tightlipped on the status of the talks, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, the party's main interlocutor, said efforts were on to secure a comprehensive Common Minimum Programme but refused to give a timeframe for government formation.
Madhav also sought to downplay differences between the BJP and the RSS on the proposed alliance.