Alliance with BJP intact, no question of backtracking: PDP

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JAMMU: After weeks of tough-talk, PDP Monday adopted a reconciliatory tone, saying it has not demanded any confidence-building measures (CBMs) from its ally BJP even as it said government formation in Jammu and Kashmir will take “some time”.

Senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Beigh asserted that the alliance with BJP is intact and there was no question of making any fresh demands to the coalition partner.

“It (formation of the government) is being looked into. We don’t want alliance primarily for gaining the power. We want the alliance (government) to work for the people of the state.

So it (government formation) will take some time,” he told reporters here in response to questions over government formation.

He, however, did not spell out why the government formation will be delayed in the state which is under Governor’s Rule since January 8, imposed a day after the sudden death of then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

“Some things are confidential. If something is revealed before time, things get derailed,” PDP MP and former state minister said while insisting that the issue of people wanting the government “is in our mind”.

His attention was drawn to the demand by PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti that the central BJP government should announce CBMs before any initiative could be taken to form the government.

In reply, Beigh claimed, “She (Mehbooba) has never said anything like CBMs. I don’t know where from the newspapers have carried such a news about CBMs….CBMs actually take place between two hostile countries. It (PDP-BJP) is one alliance which has not disintegrated here. We are not talking to any enemy that we should demand CBMs.”

Mehbooba, seen as a successor to her father Mufti Sayeed as Chief Minister, has earlier talked tough, asserting that PDP “cannot move forward” in forming government with BJP unless the Centre takes “tangible confidence-building measures” to address the causes of alienation and works towards a lasting solution to the state’s problems.

She had also made it clear that she will not form the government with BJP if the Modi dispensation does not create a “conducive atmosphere” by committing CBMs for the state.

Seeking to interpret these statements of Mehbooba, Beigh said, “she has said that there should be a timeframe on our ‘Agenda of Alliance’ — that in the first year, we can do this thing and in the second year, next thing, and so on.”

Claiming that the PDP chief had “not used the word CBMs for any fresh demand”, the party leader remarked, “But the thing is that Mehbooba Mufti said that whatever has been decided (in the Agenda of Alliance), a time-frame should be added to it. What we have agreed for six years has even been accepted by BJP people”.

His remarks came as BJP leader Ram Madhav was expected to visit the state to hold discussions with Mehbooba Mufti.

On this, Beigh said he has “read it” in the newspapers

Speaking on the sidelines of the chehlum ceremony of late Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar said that the party was not thinking about fresh elections in the state even as the political stalemate continued.

“We have not thought about fresh elections in the state. The government formation is under discussion,” PDP’s senior leader Naeem Akhtar said.

The PDP leader said that the government will be formed at appropriate time in the state “if the alliance is written in our fate”.

Akhtar said that the PDP patron, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, has laid out a path of peace and development in the state and the party with its workers will follow the same roadmap.

Terming Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as ‘the party of brave persons’, Akhtar said that PDP will follow the mission of peace and development of patron, late Mufti Sayeed whether irrespective of being in power or not.

Akhtar said that Mufti never compromised in any matter. “We will follow the mission and path that he had showed to us,” he said.

Earlier, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti offered ‘Fateha’ prayers at her father, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed’s, grave in Dara Shikho garden in Bijbehara in Anantnag district.

Mehbooba was accompanied by her mother Nusrat Ara, brother Tasaduq Mufti, sister Rubiaya Sayeed and other members of the family at the grave.

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