J&K deadlock finally over: BJP, PDP formally announce alliance

Srinagar, Feb 25: The BJP and PDP today formally announced that they are coming together to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir which is likely to be sworn in on March one.

A Common Minimum Programme (CMP) covering contentious issues such as Article 370 of the Constitution that grants special status to J and K and the controversial AFSPA is the basis of the alliance of the two parties which will emable BJP to come to power for the first time in the sensitive state.

The announcement was made by PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and BJP President Amit Shah at a joint media interaction after their crucial 45-minute meeting at the latter's residence here to give final touches to the CMP, two months after the state Assembly poll results threw up a hung verdict on December 23.

PDP chief with Amit Shah

This will be followed by a meeting between PDP patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, who is set to be the Chief Minister, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow after which the CMP will be made public on Thursday, official sources said.

The swearing-in ceremony is likely to take place on March one with the date having been apparently chosen keeping in mind that it is an "auspicious day".

"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. PDP emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats closely followed by BJP with 25 MLAs in a House of 87.

He said that the date and time of the government formation will be announced after Modi meets Sayeed.

"The meeting will be held shortly," he said, adding that both the parties will release the contents of the CMP thereafter.
"But I am happy that all obstacles in government formation have almost been removed," he said.

Without identifying the contentious issues between the two parties, Mehbooba said they have "fortunately" arrived at a consensus on crucial issues.

Terming the CMP as an "agenda for alliance", she said the coalition was not for "power sharing" but about winning the hearts and minds of the people in the state.

She termed her alliance different from other alliances of the past and said that "for the first time, the interests of the people of the state as well as national interest has been kept in mind".

The alliance provides an opportunity to end "alienation" of the people of the state from the rest of the country by giving them a development-oriented and corruption-free administration.

"I am happy that the two parties have adopted a middle path from which both, the state as well as the country, will benefit," Mehbooba said.

Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said differences with BJP over Article 370 and Armed Forces(Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) have been ironed out in the CMP.

Asked about sharp differences between the PDP and BJP over these two issues, Sayeed said all the issues have been addressed and shall be reflected in the CMP.

"Please wait for some more time. The differences have been ironed out and everything will be clear in the CMP," the PDP patron told PTI in an interview.

Later, Shah tweeted about his meeting with Mehbooba.

"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.


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