With BJP president Amit Shah set to hold a crucial meeting with the party’s Jammu and Kashmir core group in New Delhi, state BJP leaders seem hopeful about government formation in the state. Sources said the BJP’s central leadership and the Peoples Democratic Party PDP) have reached an agreement over government formation and the party core group would be informed about this consensus.
Addressing people in Jammu on Sunday, J&K BJP president and MP Jugal Kishore Sharma said people of the Jammu region came out united on a single platform this time and voted for the BJP so that real development could take place in their areas.
Many centrally sponsored schemes are waiting to come to Jammu and Kashmir and after the formation of the new government in the state, such schemes will be implemented which will benefit the common man of all three regions of the state,” Sharma said, indicating that the BJP would be part of the next government in the state.
BJP’s Kashmir spokesperson Khalid Jehangir said talks were going on with the PDP for a stable alliance and things would get clear in the next few days. People of Jammu and Kashmir want a good chief minister and good governance. It doesn’t matter whether the chief minister is from Jammu or Kashmir. The CM’s region or religion is no issue,” he said on Sunday.
Jehangir added that in the core group meeting in Delhi, the party would deliberate upon various issues regarding government formation. Besides Jugal Kishore Sharma, three former state BJP presidents and Shamshar Singh Manhas, MoS in the PMO Jitendra Singh and party leaders Kavinder Gupta, Bali Bhagat and Rajiv Jasrotia are members of the core group.
The core group is the final body to take the decision on government formation with the help of BJP president Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sources said the BJP has accepted some conditions of the PDP on issues such as Article 370, AFSPA and full-time chief ministership. However, other issues are cropping up as the PDP is keen to retain portfolios of power, home and finance.
A senior BJP leader said on the condition of anonymity that if the party enters into an alliance with the PDP, both parties will focus on development. The PDP, meanwhile, says its core agenda is peace, dialogue and reconciliation.
The Mehbooba Mufti-led party insists that cross-LoC trade and travel have to go on and further steps need to be taken to widen the circle of trade between PoK and Jammu and Kashmir. The party further says that gradual withdrawal of the AFSPA and return of power projects to the state are some core issues on which it won’t compromise.
“If at all it comes into being, the BJP-PDP tie will be an issue-based alliance. We are confident that we will not compromise on the issues for which the people of Kashmir have trusted us and helped us to win,” PDP spokesperson Naeem Akhtar said.