Mufti likely to be sworn-in on March 1
NEW DELHI: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supremo Mufti Mohammed Sayeed is likely to be sworn-in as Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir on Sunday, March 1, an event that Prime Minister Narendra Modi could attend.
This follows a joint announcement by BJP president Amit Shah and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti that the two parties would form a coalition nearly two months after declaration of the Assembly election results in December.
After a meeting between the two leaders, Mr. Shah announced, “we will form the Government with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir”. He announced that the details of their agenda or the common minimum programme would be announced soon. On her part, Ms. Mufti said after the meeting that the coalition was not for power but to win over the hearts of the people in a State that has been witnessing strife since 1989.
These developments are a pointer that the PDP and BJP have bridged their differences and come to some sort of compromise over the two contentious issues – Art 370 of the Constitution conferring special status on J & K and the Armed Forces’ Special Powers Act empowering the Army to make arrests without warrant. The BJP wants revocation of the former while PDP is strongly in favour of scrapping the AFSPA.
Mr. Mufti Mohammed Sayeed will put his seal on the alliance when he visits Delhi on Wednesday to meet Mr. Modi before formally announcing the common minimum programme which has been hammered out after hard bargaining between the two parties.
The Assembly elections held late last year had thrown up a hung house with PDP emerging as the largest single party with 28 seats but well short of the half way mark in the 87 member Assembly. The BJP stood a close second with 25 seats but failed to open its account in the Kashmir ValIey. The PDP-BJP coalition will open a new chapter in J & K’s history.