J&K: BJP In Talks With Both PDP, NC, Amit Shah Says

2 January 2015
Times of India


Mumbai: A day after it appeared as if the BJP and PDP were close to sealing a coalition deal in Jammu & Kashmir, BJP president Amit Shah on Friday said his party is in talks with both the PDP and National Conference over government formation. 'Talks are on with both the parties (PDP and NC). There has been no fruitful outcome so far,' Shah told reporters a day after BJP sought more time from Jammu & Kashmir governor NN Vohra in view of the ongoing dialogue with parties. Shah's comment gains salience in light of concerns expressed in the party's Jammu unit about PDP's 'soft separatism', and how it could adversely affect the saffron party's clear ideological position on issues concerning J&K like Article 370 and Armed Forces Special Powers Act. 'We want to form government in Jammu & Kashmir,' said Shah, who was in the country's financial capital to review the BJP's membership drive in Maharashtra and disagreed. Asked about BJP's impressive showing in Jammu but not in the valley, Shah said his party had got 25 seats in the state which was a 'sizeable' number. 'Please don't present this in a distorted manner. It would be nice if BJP won all seats it contested in all elections,' he said countering criticism over his party's failure to open its account in the valley. He also expressed confidence that BJP will get a 'full majority' in Delhi assembly polls. The Jammu & Kashmir governor has set January 19 deadline for formation of the government in the state where PDP has emerged as the largest party with 28 seats in the 87-member Assembly but way short of a majority. BJP is the second largest party with 25 members. Asked to comment on VHP-Bajrang Dal-sponsored protest against Aamir Khan's 'PK', Shah said in a democratic set up, a filmmaker is entitled to his freedom of creative expression. Similarly, people too have a right to lodge protest. Asked about the Maharashtra government's move to constitute a high-powered committee, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to speed up infrastructure projects in Mumbai, Shah said no final decision had been taken as yet on the panel. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis recently received brickbats from the Shiv Sena for his plan to set up a panel under the Prime Minister. Saamna, the Sena mouthpiece, commented editorially that Fadnavis' move seemed part of a wider gameplan to de-link Mumbai from Maharashtra. The CM denied the charge to assuage the Sena which is BJP's partner in the ruling alliance in the state. Shah said prices of essential commodities were under check during the Modi government's seven month-long tenure. Stating that the Jan-Dhan Yojana had been heartily welcomed by countrymen, Shah claimed the climate was conducive for trade and business. Earlier, Shah deliberated with the state BJP functionaries on the on-going membership drive. He instructed them to pull out all stops to increase the party membership and ensure that the BJP retained its numero uno status in the state. Union minister of state for food and civil supplies Raosaheb Danve will be the next Maharashtra BJP president, it is learnt. Danve's name was finalised by Shah at the meeting. A formal announcement of the new Maharashtra BJP president will be shortly made, sources said.