No CBMs, Mehbooba succumbs?

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Has Mehbooba Mufti succumbed? The body language and the photo of her 35 minute long meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi both suggest that BJP has not budged even a single step and no Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) are going to be announced for government formation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Take whatever financial package you want, we are not going to the dance to your tunes when it comes to taking steps for normalizations of relationships with Pakistan or building peace within the state. I need no lessons on Pakistan or Jammu and Kashmir is what Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told late Mufti Mohammed Sayeed in Ramban and it seems, Mehbooba has been candidly told the same.

She has been asked to take over reigns of power in Jammu and Kashmir, disburse relief among the flood affected and lead the revival of the economy, if the BJP sources are to be believed. She has been categorically told that BJP as party cannot sacrifice its ideology and nationalist stand for 6 Lok Sabha and 4 Rajya Sabha seats of Jammu and Kashmir, a top BJP leader told Newspoint.

Get elected as leader of legislative party, take over the reigns of power and we are there solidly backing you in all your initiatives but don’t expect us to give concessions to separatists and militants, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is believed to have told Mehbooba. Referring to the party, Prime Minister has told Mehbooba that appropriate forum is talking to the state unit of BJP and not the centre.

No promise has been made with her that AFSPA would be revoked. No timeframe has been set for return of hydroelectric power projects. No one in New Delhi is going to hold any kind of negotiations with Hurriyat over Kashmir issue and talks with Pakistan would depend more on how terror is contained and how serious Pakistan appears in controlling and confronting terror emanating from soil.

Yet when Mehbooba Mufti came out of the 7-race course residence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she described the meeting with Prime Minister as ‘very positive’ and ‘good’ for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Emerging after a 35-minute-long meeting with the Prime Minister, Mehbooba said she had a “very positive meeting” with him.

“We are seeing a stalemate for last two to three months over government formation in the state but today I am satisfied. I am very satisfied,” she told reporters. To a question whether the stalemate has ended, she said, “When you meet the PM, naturally the solution to problems faced by the people of Jammu and Kashmir is clearer”.

This significant development has turned up barely three days after PDP and BJP had hit a road block with BJP’s chief interlocutor Ram Madhav announced that his party would not be accepting any fresh demands from its erstwhile ally PDP. She will be flying back to Srinagar where she will brief her party legislators on Thursday. “I had been authorized by the party MLAs to take a decision. I have convened a meeting on Thursday and after that we will announce the future course of action.”

On government formation in the state, she said, “As I said I will talk to my MLAs because that is the forum. This is not the place. There is a particular place to make such announcements. I will go back to Srinagar and take the next step.”

It is pertinent to mention here that in the recent past Mehbooba, although, never made even an oblique reference to it was unhappy about the alliance. As were some stalwarts in her party. One of them, Tariq Hameed Karra, has repeatedly made his displeasure public.

“There was internal differences with the party, as some senior leaders and MLAs were of the opinion that re-allying with BJP will ground them to zero, while as other slot of leaders and MLAs expressed anguish over the delay in government formation, which not only put party chief in a chaotic situation, but also tested her patience to present herself as a mature politician,” said PDP leader, wishing not to be named.

This is her second visit to the national capital in five days after her talks with BJP President Amit Shah on Thursday failed to make any headway triggering speculation that the two parties could be making renewed efforts to reach out to each other in a bid to break the prolonged impasse.

The fresh efforts from PDP, which has 27 MLAs in the 87-member state Assembly, comes in the backdrop of repeated assertions made by BJP that it was committed to implementation of Agenda of Alliance arrived at by late Mufti Mohammed Sayeed. PDP had toughened its stance after Sayeed’s demise by seeking concrete plans for the state’s development, including handing over of power projects to the state and vacation of land by the army before the coalition could be revived.

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