BJP-PDP logjam over portfolios continues

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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should consider giving Finance and planning portfolios to BJP, is what is largely believed to have resulted in logjam over portfolio distribution.

BJP is demanding, sources are saying while PDP has categorically said that this is something that cannot be agreed upon. BJP made it clear that asking for the important portfolio should not be misconstrued as its demand, but said it wanted an equal share of the portfolios in the government.

The party also made it clear that it is not pressing for the all important home department and stressed that the department has been under the Chief Minster and will continue to be like that in the Mehbooba led dispensation also. Party’s state General secretary Ashok Koul said that negotiations between the two parties over portfolios was on, and hoped that things would be clear in next couple of days.

Koul further said that the new Cabinet may take oath anytime between 2nd and 4th April but added quickly that the dates would be fixed only after the negotiations regarding the portfolios reach to any conclusion. “Home department has been under CM, and it will remain so. We have only been asking for the equal share of ministries in the cabinet but it should not be misconstrued as our demand.” Koul said while adding that Finance and Planning was an area where “we are focusing on besides some other departments”.

“There are many portfolios on which discussion is on with PDP but Finance and Planning is epicenter of the discussion,” he said. Regarding the induction of new faces in the BJP quota, Koul said that the party leaders were discussing the idea of introducing new faces in the cabinet and it was most possible that a minor reshuffle in from BJP quota may take place to accommodate fresh faces in the new cabinet.

“We are discussing the issue seriously at party forum and it is likely that you may find some new faces in cabinet.” Ashok Koul said. He also said that Peoples Conference Chairman Sajjad Gani lone will also be a part of the cabinet from BJP quota. Koul’s statement comes amid speculations that both the allies are struggling with the allotment of portfolios which has delayed the oath taking ceremony.

Sources said that BJP dropped demand for Home ministry following stiff opposition from PDP but the party is unwilling to give up Finance and Planning. Some speculations are also doing rounds that the BJP was also seeking Law ministry but none of the BJP leaders admit it publicly. Meanwhile sources in the PDP said that some minor reshuffle of portfolios within that party was also on cards and the Party President was contemplating to bring some new faces in her cabinet.

The sources privy to the latest developments said that, though it was extremely difficult to read the mind of the CM designate, but the hints she has been dropping suggest that some new faces may be inducted in her cabinet.

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