March 2016 News

Stalemate Deepens: BJP Says New Conditions Not Acceptable

18 March 2016
The Daily Excelsior
Neeraj Rohmetra

Jammu: Stalemate over formation of new Government in Jammu and Kashmir by reviving the PDP-BJP coalition has further deepened with BJP high command not agreeing to what they called 'fresh conditions' even as the PDP maintained that it has not laid down any new conditions and was only asking for implementation of 'Agenda of Alliance'. 'After Mehbooba-Amit Shah meeting in New Delhi last night, there were no fresh talks between the two former coalition partners though Mehbooba was camping in New Delhi today and was scheduled to return to summer capital tomorrow,' political sources, who were privy to PDP-BJP talks and subsequent developments, told the Excelsior. BJP general secretary and party's pointman on Jammu and Kashmir, Ram Madhav confirmed that the stalemate over new Government formation in the State that persisted earlier continued as he made it clear that Government can't be formed on basis of the conditions. According to sources, the stalemate was result of both the parties sticking to their stand. While the BJP wants 'Agenda of Alliance' to be the sole basis for formation of new Government in the State on the ground that nothing has changed except for unfortunate death of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed (former Chief Minister), the PDP wants that there should be some kind of forward movement on the 'Agenda of Alliance' so that the people of the State feels that this Government has been delivering. 'There have been no new demands or conditions. We are asking for only forward movement on 'Agenda of Alliance', which already existed before death of Mufti Sayeed,' the PDP sources said, adding that Mehbooba Mufti had, in her meeting with Amit Shah last night, reiterated transfer of two power projects to Jammu and Kashmir from NHPC, vacation of land by the Army, grant of two Smart Cities to the State and relief to flood victims of September 2014. 'There is nothing new in these demands as all these issues figured in the 'Agenda of Alliance' signed between the two parties before formation of Government last year,' they said, adding the PDP was only asking for forward movement on some of the issues mentioned in the 'Agenda'. However, Ram Madhav went on record to say that the stalemate that existed earlier continued and that conditions cannot be the basis for Government formation. 'There is no progress. As far as we are concerned there is no change in conditions that existed when Mufti Mohammed Sayeed was the Chief Minister. The only change is that Mufti Saheb is no longer there and it was for PDP to appoint a new leader and carry on,' he said. The stand taken by the BJP clearly indicated the stalemate over Government formation in J&K persisted and an early end to Governor's Rule in the State was ruled out. J&K was under the Governor's Rule since January 8 after the death of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. On Mehbooba-Shah meeting, Madhav said 'there is no change in our stand. We have told them that a new Government should be formed on the basis of conditions that existed earlier.' Sources maintained that last night meeting between BJP president Amit Shah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti was held in conducive atmosphere and Shah was positive to some of the demands raised by her. PDP with 27 MLAs and BJP with 25 members had formed an alliance on March 1 last year with Mufti Sayeed as the Chief Minister. Both the sides had formed an 'Agenda of Alliance' which sought to address internal and external dimensions of the State. The BJP statement clearly indicated that it wants Mehbooba to head the Government on the basis of 'Agenda of Alliance' only and that fresh conditions were not acceptable to the party. Asked about the new demands put forward by the PDP chief, Madhav said in clear terms that 'whatever fresh has to done has to be done after Government formation'. 'The first thing is that no new demand is acceptable to us and the second thing is that if there are new demands then it can be taken up once a new Government takes over. 'A State Government always has a right to make demands to the Centre. A Government cannot be formed on the basis of conditions,' he said. When asked if a new Government will be formed, he said 'I cannot say because the stalemate that existed earlier continues.' Invoking late Mufti Sayeed, Madhav said he did not have any demand as the Chief Minister and did not ask for anything more. 'Unfortunately, he passed away. Where Mufti sahab left, we should move ahead from there,' he said.