Government formation in J&K not likely soon

Government formation in J&K not likely soon

By NOOR-UL-QAMRAIN | SRINAGAR | 21 February, 2016
Jammu: People's Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti during a party workers meeting in Jammu. Photo: IANS
The People’s Democratic Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party have decided to initiate a structured dialogue process for government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, even as the recent meeting between BJP general secretary Ram Madhav and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti could not arrive at a conclusion on the matter. As the talks will continue for some more time, government formation will not happen anytime soon. Party insiders said that during her meeting with Ram Madhav, Mehbooba Mufti stressed on a “timeline” for the implementation of the “agenda of alliance”. She told Madhav that the PDP leaders would go to Delhi to discuss with the BJP the pending issues that are not allowing the government to be formed.
Highly placed sources told this newspaper that Mehbooba Mufti will be in Delhi for Parliament’s Budget session and that senior PDP leader Dr Haseeb Drabu has already reached the national capital and is talking to the “right quarters” in the BJP. “A structured dialogue will soon be initiated and the process will be taken forward,” said senior state BJP leader Dr Nirmal Singh.
The recent civilian killings in Kashmir including the death of a girl at Pulwama and the JNU agitation have forced the PDP to put a brake on the talks, as many leaders feel that in Kashmir Valley the public mood is not in favour of government formation at present. There is a lot of confusion in the PDP camp about the future course of action, as Mehbooba Mufti has isolated many senior leaders and has started taking all decisions herself, said party insiders. They said that Mehbooba Mufti was not in a hurry and wants the central leadership of the BJP to take the “ownership” of the state government so that there is not only developmental turnaround, but also visible “healing touch” on the ground. However, informed sources also said that Mehbooba Mufti has indicated to party workers to prepare for elections and has announced that the election board of the party will be headed by former minister Abdul Rehman Veeri.
Sources said that Mehbooba Mufti and her mother Gulshan Ara are also likely to visit Saudi Arabia for Umrah. “In the present circumstances, Mehbooba is in no hurry for government formation and it will take time for matters to move forward,” a senior PDP leader told this newspaper.
Ram Madhav, while briefing the media, has said that BJP was willing to discuss a timeline for the implementation of several decisions that were already the part of agenda of alliance. Reports said that BJP has said that the return of Kashmiri Pandits and land for them, the issue of West Pakistan refugees should also be included in the urgent items to be addressed.
Mehbooba Mufti is trying to keep her flock together and has started addressing the internal problems of the party and is likely to go for an overhaul. The changes in the party will be done soon and Tasaduq Sayeed, the son of the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, may get some party position.

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