March 22: It’s been over two months and the state of Jammu and Kashmir has been under President’s Rule due to deadlock in talks between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and thePeoples Democratic Party (PDP) over government formation.
However, on Tuesday, there is hope that stalemate may end soon.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti is meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his 7, Race Course Road in New Delhi right now.
Mufti arrived at the PM’s oficial residence a shortwhile ago.
This is Mehbooba’s second visit to the national capital in five days – she had held talks with BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday. But, that meeting failed to resolve the deadlock and in the days ahead some tough statements were issued.
The BJP made it clear that it was not ready to accept any new conditions for the formation of a coalition government in J&K.
However, on Monday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley extended an olive branch and said, “we stand fully committed as far as agenda of governance is concerned” in J&K.
Sources said Mehbooba, who is staying at the Jammu and Kashmir House in Chanakyapuri, held talks with senior party colleagues including former finance minister Haseeb Drabu and reportedly gave final touches to agenda for the meeting with the PM.
The fresh efforts from PDP, which has 27 MLAs in the 87-member state Assembly, come in the backdrop of repeated assertions made by the BJP that it was committed to implementation of Agenda of Alliance arrived at by her father late Mufti Mohammed Sayeed.
The talks with BJP, which has 25 MLAs, had hit a roadblock last week when party’s interlocutor on the state Ram Madhav made it clear that no fresh demands would be entertained from its former alliance partner PDP and that they decide whether they want to form a government based on the Agenda of Alliance document.
PDP leaders later clarified that PDP had made no fresh demands and that there was a miscommunication from both sides leading to derailing of talks.
While there was no official confirmation from PDP side, it was believed that Mehbooba has conveyed her willingness to take over reins of the government and discuss other issues later.
PDP is also understood to have called for a Legislative Party meeting on Thursday where she may be elected as its leader.
PDP and BJP had formed an alliance on March 1 last year with Sayeed as the chief minister. Both the sides had formed an “Agenda of Alliance” which sought to address internal and external dimension of the state.
The 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 Army before the coalition could be revived.
President’s Rule was imposed in the state on January 8 after Mehbooba decided against taking over the reins after her father’s death.