Decks were cleared for the first ever formation of a BJP-PDP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir following a “historic” meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and PDP chief Mufti Mohammed Sayeed where the two leaders gave their approval for a common minimum programme (CMP) for governance. The swearing-in will be on March 1.
Clearly the PDP expects the NDA government to resume dialogue process with Pakistan and Hurriyat leaders as Mr. Sayeed emphasised, after the meeting, the need to engage with Islamabad. The government, he said, must take off from where former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee left when he had extended a hand of friendship to the then Pakistan leadership. “History has given us another chance. We want to repeat history.’’
“It was a war of nerves,” he admitted to a questioner when asked about the BJP and the PDP reconciling two extreme ideologies but added that “common ground has been found” and both sides were “flexible”.
Repeating the BJP slogan of sab ka saath sab ka vikas , he said, the Prime Minister has won the mandate of the people of the country and has full legitimacy to decide on this alliance and adding that “this had to be done’”.
“We will now give a healing touch to the State,” he said.
Mr. Sayeed did not get into the details of government formation or the CMP and said all that would be declared after the swearing-in ceremony at a joint press conference. Mr. Sayeed, who is expected to be Chief Minister, has invited the Prime Minister to attend the swearing-in. Mr. Modi will attend.
The two leaders were in the know of the progress of talks between the two parties which had begun almost immediately after results were declared. “We had been talking for the last two months,” he said.