Assurances are not enough, we need action: Mehbooba

PDP leader sets conditions for govt. formation with BJP.

Updated - November 17, 2021 03:11 am IST

Published - February 02, 2016 11:39 pm IST - SRINAGAR/JAIPUR:

The impasse over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir continued even after much prodding by Governor N.N. Vohra, with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti making it clear that she was still awaiting a grand gesture from the alliance partner BJP.

Leaders of both parties called on Mr. Vohra after he wrote to them, asking for their views on the prospects of government formation in the State, now under Central rule after the death of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

Ms. Mufti did not mince words on what she felt were the necessary conditions for her to assent to government formation.

“We don’t need assurances, that’s already been done at the top level. For a new government, we want a new atmosphere, new measures to give some fillip to the government and fill the void,” she said, after she met the Governor.

“Before government formation, there is need to take measures for Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh by the Centre,” she said.

She also chose to draw a distinction between herself and her father. “My father went ahead despite contradictions [with the BJP]. He did not shake hands with Mr. Modi but all those people who voted for him. I don’t have the experience or vision of my father. I don’t have the goodwill like him… but Kashmir needs people of India to stand behind us so that it is brought out from the troubled times,” she said.

Earlier, the senior BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister, Nirmal Singh, met Ms. Mufti in Jammu. Describing the meeting as “a courtesy call,” Mr. Singh said: “Everything is all right between the PDP and the BJP. And we are in favour of continuing our coalition with the PDP.”

In the past few weeks, BJP leaders in Delhi said the PDP had put forward many issues as part of the “confidence-building measures,” including the handover of the Dulhasti and Uri Hydroelectric power plants from the National Hydro-electric Power Corporation (NHPC) to the State government, removal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and dropping a plan by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to open an office in Jammu.

Tough stance

Reflecting a hardening stand on the part of the BJP, the party general secretary, Ram Madhav, told The Hindu in Jaipur: “The next government, if it is with the PDP, will be formed only on the basis of the common minimum programme of the agenda for alliance that was agreed to with Mufti Sahab. No new demands or elements can be added to that. As far as confidence-building measures are concerned, the BJP works for confidence with the whole country and not just for Jammu and Kashmir.”

With no end to the impasse, it is being hoped that the meeting between Ms. Mufti and Dr. Nirmal Singh, the first formal contact between the two parties after Mr. Mufti’s death, would signal a new beginning for the alliance.

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