RSS Slams BJP's Deal With PDP On AFSPA, Article 370

16 February 2015
India Today


New Delhi: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Monday rejected the Common Minimum Programme reportedly reached between the BJP and the People's Democratic Party ahead of the formation of the next government in Jammu and Kashmir. The ideological mentor of the BJP slammed the saffron party for its 'compromise' on the Uniform Civil Code, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir. In its manifesto for the state Assembly elections, the PDP had promised the removal of AFSPA from Jammu and Kashmir for its alleged misuse by the Indian Army in its anti-militancy operations. The message from the RSS came even as the BJP and the People's Democratic Party are busy finalising the details of the Common Minimum Programme they reportedly reached last week to form the next Jammu and Kashmir government before February 23. Under the agreement, the PDP will get the chief minister's post while BJP's Nirmal Singh is likely to be the Deputy CM. Sources said PDP veteran Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who is likely to be the next Jammu and Kashmir CM, will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon to finalise the CMP, which the two parties had been working on for almost a month. Jammu and Kashmir elected a hung Assembly after the votes of the five-phased election were counted on December 23 last year with the PDP emerging as the single largest party with 28 seats in the 87-member House. The BJP emerged as the second largest party with 25 seats followed by the National Conference at 15 and Congress with 12. Smaller parties and independents won seven seats. Last week, Sayeed had congratulated the Aam Aadmi Party on its landslide victory in Delhi while advising the BJP not to ignore the message of India's unity in diversity contained in the verdict by Delhi voters. He had also welcomed as 'gigantic step' the initiative of Modi to reach out to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif and resuming the foreign secretary-level talks. The PDP has been pressing for resumption of India-Pakistan dialogue. The Governor's Rule was imposed in the state on January 9, a day after National Conference leader Omar Abdullah asked Governor NN Vohra to relieve him of the duties of the caretaker chief minister with immediate effect.