New Delhi: The BJP leadership has apparently sent a strong signal to PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, virtually rejecting her demand for J&K-specific “confidence-building measures” (CBMs), and insisting that the “Agenda of the Alliance” between the two parties is already in place.
Even after intervention of J&K governor N.N. Vohra, Ms Mufti has refused to soften her stand on government formation with the BJP.
Jammu and Kashmir is now under Governor’s Rule as the PDP is yet to formally approach the BJP to discuss government formation. Ms Mufti is likely to be the PDP’s chief ministerial candidate.
On so-called CBMs, sources said the PDP has informally indicated to the saffron leadership that the Centre should withdraw the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from some districts of the state, rein in the RSS and prevent it from making controversial statements on Article 370.
Ms Mufti also wanted the Centre to “clear all possible complications for the constitutionally-guaranteed fund for development of the state”, and is on record saying: “Mufti Muhammad Sayeed was virtually made to run from pillar to post by New Delhi to get even the constitutionally-guaranteed funds for development of the state.”
The top BJP leadership is, however, in no mood to give in to “pressure tactics”, and appears to be confident that “Mehbooba has no other option but to form a government with the BJP”.
Senior state BJP leader and former deputy CM Nirmal Singh also clarified that the Agenda of the Alliance is already in place between the two parties and nothing new will be added to it.
Mehbooba CBM bid to assert herself in party
On the CBMs’ issue, he said nothing had been formally conveyed to the BJP yet.
Sources also said the BJP leadership is also aware of the internal conflict Ms Mufti is facing within her party after the death of her father Mufti Sayeed last month. A senior leader said her CBMs’ demand was really a message to the PDP’s rank and file that she is as effective as her late father and can set preconditions before the BJP.
Sources said even the PDP was aware that its popularity in the state had declined following its alliance with the BJP. NC leader Farooq Abdullah had demanded that fresh polls be called if the PDP and BJP could not resolve their current differences....