J&K Likely To Get BJP-PDP Coalition Government Soon: Nirmal Singh

20 February 2015

New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir is likely to have a BJP-PDP coalition government soon as the two parties are believed to have firmed up a 'carefully drafted' Common Minimum Programme (CMP) touching all controversial issues like Article 370 and AFSPA. BJP said its talks with PDP are proceeding on 'positive lines' and things are 'narrowing down' on crucial issues. 'We hope a government will be in place soon,' senior state BJP leader Nirmal Singh, whose name is doing rounds for Deputy Chief Ministership, told PTI here. Singh, who spoke after a meeting state party leaders held with BJP general secretaries Ram Madhav and Ram Lal, said, 'We held discussions on government formation (in J&K) and talks held with PDP. Further talks with PDP are on and they are on positive lines. Things are narrowing down on crucial issues.' PDP Chief Spokesman Naeem Akhtar was asked whether the deal between his party and BJP has been sealed, he said 'when it is done, it will be declared'. Sources said the announcement of government formation is expected over the weekend or by early next week unless RSS does not create further hurdles for BJP. PDP with 28 MLAs and BJP with 25 MLAs in the 87-member Assembly have been in talks ever since the election results on December 23 last gave a fractured verdict. The state is under Governor's Rule for over a month. According to sources privy to the developments, the two sides have possibly agreed on formation of a Committee which will go into the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and suggest areas from where it could be revoked. On Article 370, while BJP has given no written assurance as demanded by the PDP, the CMP is expected to say that both parties will respect the aspirations of the people of the state within the Constitution. The proposed CMP may also touch upon the issue of more than 25,000 families of West Pakistan Refugees by saying that it was a humanitarian issue which should be addressed in a humanitarian way. According to the sources, the portfolios have also been finalised with the PDP walking away with Home and Finance while BJP managing with Tourism and Water Resources, Public Health Engineering and Planning.