Mufti To Head 25-strong Cabinet, Modi To Attend Swearing-in On Sunday

27 February 2015

New Delhi: Setting the stage for the installation of a PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and PDP patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed on Friday shook hands and hugged each other, saying the coalition was like 'bringing together of North Pole and South Pole'. Sayeed, 79, will take oath as the state's Chief Minister along with 12 members each from PDP and BJP at Jammu at a ceremony to be attended by Modi. BJP's Nirmal Singh is expected to be the Deputy CM. Bitter rivals in the past, the two parties have held intense negotiations since December after the poll verdict resulted in a hung assembly. The coalition has been put together on the basis of a Common Minimum Programme (CMP), to be unveiled on Sunday. The CMP will cover all controversial issues like Article 370, Armed Forces Special Powers Act and resettlement of West Pakistan refugees. Senior BJP leader Ram Madhav said the CMP has the 'blessings of the Sangh Parivar'. Emerging from an hour-long meeting with Modi, Sayeed said the coalition was like 'bringing together North Pole and South Pole' while emphasising that the coalition was first a political alliance and then an alliance for governance. 'It (the alliance) is both for political and governance. First political, and then governance. When the political atmosphere will be right only then can governance take place,' Sayeed, who later met former PM Manmohan Singh and also visited the residence of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, said. When asked about Article 370, which gives special status to the state, and AFSPA, Sayeed said, 'Leave these issues. These are not issues. We have to do all this (hame karna padta hai)...All this will come in CMP, which will be announced after the swearing-in.' J&K CAPITAL SHIFTED TO NAGPUR, SAYS OMAR Former CM Omar Abdullah claimed that with the sealing of the BJPPDP alliance the state capital has shifted to Nagpur, an oblique reference to the RSS headquarters there. 'With this hug (between Sayeed and Modi) the South Pole and the North Pole met and the capital of J-K shifted to Nagpur,' Omar tweeted. 'As all the expert J&K commentators will not tire telling us that this Modi-Mufti accord is the best thing since sliced bread I must ask where are the celebrations on the streets of J&K? There should have been a spontaneous eruption of joy on both sides of the mountains,' he said.