Mehbooba sets conditions to Ally with BJP on Govt. formation

JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday appeared to be headed for a longer spell of political uncertainty with both allies PDP and BJP putting the onus of forming the next government on each other as their leaders met Governor N N Vohra who had stepped in to break the month-long impasse. 

Vohra held consultations with PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, who was accompanied by senior party colleague Muzaffar Baig, after which he met BJP leaders, including former Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, here to seek clarity on the issue of government formation. 

While Mehbooba did not spell out what she told Vohra over government formation, Singh said BJP will take any step only after PDP elects its Legislature Party leader and notifies the Governor about it. 

Emerging from the meeting, Mehbooba set certain conditions to ally BJP, including confidence building measures (CBMs) by the Centre for peace and development of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Insisting that there are "no differences" with BJP, she said Jammu and Kashmir is different from other states and needs a "good atmosphere, space and a fillip" if a new government is to be formed. 

Talking to reporters, she said her late father Mufti Sayeed, without bothering about his "political career", had aligned with Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the hope that the Centre will bring out the state from the difficult situation it is in. 

"Jammu and Kashmir is a different state, there are different challenges. In Jammu and Kashmir, there are several forces which need to be tackled. We need the Centre to be fully with us," the PDP chief said. 

Repeatedly asked about what she wants from the Centre, Mehbooba said there was a need for confidence building measures (CBMs), not only for Kashmir, but also for Jammu and Ladakh. 

Refusing to specify the CBMs, she referred to the 'Agenda of Alliance', saying it had been firmed up at the highest level by the two parties last year. 

Hailing her late father for his guts, she said she does not have such "experience". 

To a question, she said there are "no differences" with BJP but such measures should be taken by the Centre which will ensure that Sayeed's absence is not felt. 

After BJP delegation met the Governor, Nirmal Singh said, "We want that the alliance should continue. Modi sahab and Mufti sahab had a vision regarding Jammu and Kashmir. We complete that vision. But constitutional problem is that until PDP selects a leader and tell the Governor and moves further to form a government, after that only we will take some position constitutionally.

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