PDP, BJP iron out issues, close to sealing J-K deal

PDP, BJP iron out issues, close to sealing J&K deal

india Updated: Jan 29, 2015 02:31 IST
Peerzada Ashiq
Peerzada Ashiq
Hindustan Times

After over a month of backchannel negotiations, the BJP and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seem to have narrowed down their differences on contentious issues, including the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Article 370, paving the way for the formation of a government in Jammu and Kashmir.

Sources said both parties have agreed that the CM will be from the regional party while the BJP will get the deputy CM’s post. A formal announcement will be made after the Delhi Assembly polls.

BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav’s meeting with governor NN Vohra in Jammu on Wednesday was to apprise him about this development, the sources said.

“We have already shelved the issue of Article 370 for the time being just as the NDA put in abeyance the Uniform Civil Code earlier,” BJP state secretary Ashok Kaul said in Srinagar.

“We are hopeful to seek a timeline on the gradual removal of AFSPA in J&K from the BJP, which has also shown its willingness to open channels of engagement with Pakistan,” said a top PDP leader on the condition of anonymity.

It was evident that the BJP and PDP would come together on Tuesday itself after the National Conference announced its support to senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad for the February 7 Rajya Sabha elections in the state, virtually shutting the door on the BJP. The understanding between the PDP and the BJP has ensured three RS seats for their alliance, while the fourth one will go to Azad.

J&K was put under Governor’s Rule in the first week of January after results of the December Assembly election did not give any party a majority. The PDP has 28 seats while the BJP has 25 seats in the 87-member assembly.

Sources said the parties will draw up a common minimum programme where both will scale down from contentious issues, including more rights for West Pakistan refugees and the release of stone-throwers.

First Published: Jan 29, 2015 00:22 IST