Jammu Tawi, March 27
Though PDP is tightlipped over swearing-in ceremony, BJP seems to have made up its mind. Seeking divine blessing, the party has chosen auspicious Navratras for the oath taking.
Though nothing is being confirmed by leaders of both PDP and BJP but Deputy Chief Minister designate Dr. Nirmal Singh did say that final date of swearing-in is yet to be decided but if it comes during Navratra, it will be auspicious. “Within day or two, both parties are holding meetings to finalize date for swearing-in of the new government. I can safely say that it will be in the first or second week of April,” said Nirmal Singh.
When asked about more delay in government formation, Nirmal Singh said that all major issues have been ironed out and within day, new government come into being. “The two parties have no major issue. After staking claims for government formation, both parties need time to decide date of swearing in,” he said and added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the event, due to which preparations would be special.
“This is mega event. We expect Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend. Therefore, special arrangements are necessary. People of the state would soon have prosperous and pro-development government,” Singh said. Meanwhile, supporting the willingness of BJP, former education minister and senior PDP leader-Naeem Akhter said that the date would be decided as per the convenience of both the parties.
“I do not know the exact date of the swearing in, but it would take place as per the convenience of both the parties. We are holding meeting with BJP by next week to schedule the date of swearing in,” Akhter said. Earlier, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and Nirmal Singh, senior leader of BJP, had yesterday met Governor N.N.Vohra, to jointly stake claim to form the government.
When it happens, Mehbooba Mufti will become the first woman chief minister of the state and the top post will also be a test of her administrative skills since the PDP chief has never held any administrative post in Jammu and Kashmir or at the national level.
“We are happy that Jammu and Kashmir will get its first woman chief minister. We expect the new chief minister to not only carry forward the development work in the state but also be more sensitive towards the aspirations of women in the state. BJP has extended full support to Mehbooba Mufti and we hope she will be able to meet the aspirations of the people of the state,” said BJP leader and MLA Nowshera Ravinder Raina, adding that developmental politics is in her blood.’
He said that PDP leadership had not mentioned any specific date for swearing-in but we wish it should take place during the auspicious days of Navratra, which are considered as blessings. Pertinently, the 2014 state elections threw up a hung assembly in which the PDP won 28 seats, mainly from the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley, and the BJP 25, almost all from the Hindu-dominated Jammu region, leading to a coalition government headed by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
Following his death on 7 January, a political vacuum descended on the state as BJP and PDP failed to reach an understanding on forming an alliance again. The breakthrough came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stepped-in last week and met Mehbooba Mufti. Soon after the meeting, Mehbooba Mufti was elected leader of legislature party by PDP leaders and BJP leaders too extended unconditional support to the PDP leadership.
Interestingly, Mehbooba had earlier asked the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to take confidence building measures before government formation. The PDP leadership was keen that NDA begin the dialogue process with the Kashmiri separatists groups, resume talks with Pakistan, repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from some districts and get the army to vacate occupied land.