February 24, 2015 11:09 pm

BJP, PDP Formally Announce Alliance

Oath ceremony on March 1 in Jammu, PM Modi to be special guest

SRINAGAR: Eight weeks after Assembly poll results were announced Jammu and Kashmir is set to get a new government with PDP and BJP formally announcing a coalition government.

The first formal announcement to this count was made by PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and BJP President Amit Shah who met in Delhi to give final touches to the Common Minimum Programme (CMP).

PDP patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, who is to be sworn as the Chief Minister, will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday after which the CMP will be made public on Thursday, official sources said.

After the 45-minute-long meeting between Mehbooba and Shah at the latter’s New Delhi residence, both the party chiefs appeared before the media and made the announcement about the formation of the “popular” alliance government in the state.

“After several round of talks on different issues, there is near consensus on a CMP and very soon the people of J&K will have a popular alliance government of PDP and BJP,” Shah said.

He said that the date and time of the government formation will be announced after Modi meets Sayeed.

However sources told Kashmir Observer that the swearing-in ceremony will take place at Jammu University's Zoravar Auditorium on March 1, with the date having been chosen keeping in mind that it is an “auspicious day”.

 Shah said he was happy that all obstacles in government formation have ‘almost’ been removed.

Without identifying the contentious issues between the two parties, Mehbooba said that the two parties have “fortunately” arrived at a consensus on crucial issues.

Terming the CMP as an “agenda for alliance”, she said the coalition was not for “power sharing” but about winning the hearts and minds of the people in the state.

She termed her alliance different from other alliances of the past and said that “for the first time, the interests of the people of the state as well as national interest has been kept in mind”.

The alliance provides an opportunity to end “alienation” of the people of the state from the rest of the country by giving them a development-oriented and corruption-free administration.

However, both the leaders kept under wraps the details of the Common Minimum Programme, particularly with respect to the Article 370 and Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the two issues over which the two parties have completely opposite views.

Well placed sources told Kashmir Observer that the two sides have decided not to raise contentious issues during the first term of governance.

‘BJP-PDP coalition not for power sharing, but about winning the hearts and minds of the people in the state’:   --Mehbooba Mufti

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