Elation and doubt: What BJP, PDP, Cong camps said after J-K deal
Ending two months of deadlock, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the People's Democratic Party (PDP) announced on Tuesday they will jointly form the next government in Jammu and Kashmir. While PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who is tipped to become the J-K chief minister for the second time, said there was a historic chance to end the uncertainty in the state, the Congress did not find anything positive about the newly formed alliance between two erstwhile foes.india Updated: Feb 25, 2015 13:09 IST
Ending two months of deadlock, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the People's Democratic Party (PDP) announced on Tuesday they will jointly form the next government in Jammu and Kashmir.
For the first time, the BJP will have a role in governing the Muslim-majority state plagued by militancy.
While PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who is tipped to become the J-K chief minister for the second time, said there was a historic chance to end the uncertainty in the state, the Congress did not find anything positive about the newly formed alliance between two erstwhile foes.
Here's a look at who said what after the decision was announced on Tuesday.
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, PDP patron
"I see this (PDP-BJP coalition) as an historic opportunity to end the decades of mistrust between Kashmir and Jammu regions of the state," the 78-year-old leader said.
"There is no other option (other than PDP and the BJP alliance). We had offers of support from the National Conference as well as the Congress for government formation but governance is not our only aim. We have to also deliver on the peace agenda."
In J-K, no party managed to get near the majority mark of 44 in the 87-member House in the recently held elections. The PDP emerged as the single-largest party with 28 seats (mostly in Kashmir), after a neck-and-neck fight with the BJP-led coalition, which stopped at 23 (all in Jammu). The National Conference won 17 seats, while the Congress bagged 12.
"With the mandate BJP has at the Centre, we will be able to achieve much more on both peace and development fronts. Any other alternative may not be feasible at all for the state," he added.
Sayeed is likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on Wednesday.
Asked about sharp differences between the PDP and BJP over issues like Article 370 and AFSPA, Sayeed said all the issues have been addressed and shall be reflected in the Common Minimum Programme (CMP).
"Please wait for some more time. The differences have been ironed out and everything will be clear in the CMP," the PDP patron said.
The two parties had been in talks since the election results were announced at the end of December, but the negotiations failed to make any headway for some two months because of their differences over Article 370 and the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
Sayeed said the PDP would pursue a political and a developmental agenda to ensure "a sense of participation among people".
"The challenge remains to bridge the gap between regions of the state as there is no question of its trifurcation on regional or religious lines."
Confident of seeing a new BJP in Kashmir, he added, "The people of Delhi have already come out with a bold statement through the ballot in the recent assembly elections. The verdict cannot be ignored."
Amit Shah, BJP president
"After several round of talks on different issues, there is near consensus on a CMP and very soon the people of J-K will have a popular alliance government of PDP and BJP," Shah said.
"… I am happy that all obstacles in government formation have almost been removed."
On Article 370, while the BJP has given no written assurance as demanded by PDP, the CMP is expected to say that both parties will respect the aspirations of the people of the state within the Constitution, PTI quoted sources as saying.
The proposed CMP may also touch upon the issue of more than 25,000 families of West Pakistani refugees by terming it a humanitarian question.
According to sources, the portfolios have also been finalised with the PDP likely to walk away with home and finance, while the BJP is expected to get tourism and water resources, public health engineering and planning.
"Glory will be restored in the 'Jewel of the Crown', BJP-PDP Govt will take J and K to new heights by ensuring Good Governance and Development," the BJP president said in a tweet.
Salman Soz, Congress spokesperson
"Though we wish them (PDP-BJP) best of luck, but we don't think that this proposed government would complete its tenure, the strings of this government would be in the hands of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat," Salman Soz said.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is the BJP's ideological parent and known for its hard-line right-wing stand.
"Now this is up to the people to decide as the same parties that contested the elections against each other are now joining hands to form the government in the state," he said.
"It is obvious that to come together both these parties might have compromised with their ideology.
"You can well understand that nothing went ahead without the permission of RSS that is why it took so much of time for both the parties to announce the formation of the government," Soz claimed.
He said the people of the state would be the better judge for the new government.
"BJP is into this habit of forgetting the promises it makes to the people before the elections."
Video:BJP, PDP seal govt formation deal
First Published: Feb 25, 2015 09:50 IST