Govt formation in J&K: Jaitley hints at setting aside controversial issues

New Delhi, Jan 5: Amid talks with PDP over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, senior BJP leader and Union Minister Arun Jaitley today said it was "very difficult" for political parties to give up their ideological position but hinted that controversial issues could be set aside.

He underlined that a government in the sensitive state should be based on three issues -- sovereignty, good governance for developmental activities and regional balance -- and hoped that "parties involved" would put their "heads together" for the larger interest of the state.

Jaitley hints to form govt in J&K

As the stalemate over government formation continued for the 13th day in a state where Assembly polls threw up a hung verdict, the Finance Minister said the task is a "much larger battle" between democratic parties and the Indian state versus separatists supported from across the border. He said the BJP-led government at the Centre would not be happy to impose Governor's Rule in the state as "I think if there is one state which needs a popular government, it is Jammu and Kashmir."

Jaitley did not disclose details about the talks being held between BJP and PDP, saying he was not aware. Asked whether BJP would be able to give up its stand on Article 370 and revoking of controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act as demanded by the PDP, he said, "It is very difficult for political parties to give up their ideological positions. Can I expect PDP or NC to give up there ideological positions?

Similarly, if they ask BJP to give up its ideological position, the answer is no." At the same time, he told NDTV, "Once any government is formed keeping in mind these three aspects (sovereignty, good governance and regional balance), then we can work out what is to be said and what is not to be said without disowning the ideology", an indication that the controversial issues could be put on the back burner.

"I hope that the parties involved in the process will put their heads together and in the larger interest that Kashmir needs a government, we work in that direction," he added.


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