‘Thank you BJP for unconditional support’

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Srinagar:  Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and the chief ministerial candidate, Mehbooba Mufti Saturday expressed her gratitude to the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) for supporting her party ‘unconditionally’ to pave way for her in becoming the first woman chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir following the death of her father, Mufi Mohammad Sayeed i January this year.

“We are thankful to the BJP for extending their unconditional support for the formation of the government. Giving utmost respect to the mandate given by the people, Mufti Mohammed sahib had forged this alliance and formed a government,” she told the media persons after her meeting with the Governor, along with former J&K deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh.

Expressing satisfaction that the agenda of alliance was reiterated and stressed by both the sides in recent times, she said that the alliance was forged keeping in mind the secular public of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Mufti sahib had forged this alliance for a purpose beyond government formation. Jammu and Kashmir is not like other states, you need to address things politically economically and socially. Happy that agenda of alliance is being stressed on by both sides at the highest forum,” she said.

Meanwhile, Nirmal Singh said that BJP legislators unanimously supported PDP in the government formation.

“Have submitted letter to Governor where BJP legislators have unanimously supported PDP in Government formation. We shall sit together with PDP and decide on the future course of action..We shall sit together and discuss all details and formalities,” he said.

Mehbooba handed over the letter staking claim to form the government to the Governor while Dr. Nirmal Singh handed over the letter from the BJP supporting her claim.

Earlier, the state BJP elected Dr Nirmal Singh as Legislative Party leader in a meeting of BJP legislators held at Jammu yesterday.

Singh was also nominated as the candidate for Deputy Chief Minister’s position who has served in the same capacity in previous PDP BJP coalition government.

BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav and BJP MP and Union Minister of State in PMO Dr. Jitendra Singh also attended the meeting.

After months of negotiation and re-negotiation between the two political outfits, both were able to once again unite on the ‘Common Minimum Agenda’.

PDP’s leader of legislature party Mehbooba Mufti, along with BJP’s senior legislator Nirmal Singh was part of the delegation which reached the Raj Bhawan here in the afternoon. Both the parties jointly presented their majority to rule the legislative assembly. 

The PDP presently has 27 legislators in the 87-member legislative assembly. An independent legislator from the Ladakh region also supports the PDP. 

BJP, which has 25 legislators, is supported by two legislators of Peoples Conference headed by Sajad Lone and an independent member. 

On its part, BJP presented a letter to the Governor assuring complete support to the single-largest party of the elected assembly. “We have submitted letter to Governor where BJP legislators have unanimously supported PDP in government formation. We shall sit together with PDP and decide on the future course of action,” Nirmal Singh said.

The PDP-BJP government was in place since March 2015. However, following the death PDP patriarch and reigning Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed in December, the alliance was called off by his daughter Mehbooba Mufti. 

The latter demanded BJP-government at Centre to fulfil certain political obligations towards Kashmir valley. Mehbooba demanded the revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), grant of pending subsidies to 2014 flood victims and special economic packages from the Centre.

Despite a stiff stand shown by Mehbooba, the BJP did not relent. The saffron party was firm on its position that all such demands would be considered only after the government is formed in the state.

 

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