Srinagar: The PDP said on Tuesday that its talks with BJP for government formation have not reached a stage at which contentious issues will be discussed.
“Informal talks with the BJP are going on. No fresh progress has been made in this regard. There is no set timeline for the formal talks for government formation,” PDP chief spokesperson Naeem Akhtar told Kashmir Reader.
BJP’s in charge of Kashmir affairs Ramesh Arora said three days ago that formal talks with PDP will begin early this week and both parties will discuss prickly issues such as AFSPA, Article 370, self-rule, dialogue with Pakistan and separatists.
In fact, Arora said on Sunday that PDP has accepted the three conditions it had said would form the basis of any tie-up for government formation in the state—no compromise on sovereignty and national integrity, development and balanced development of all regions of the state.
Echoing Arora, Akhtar said the sensitive issues will be discussed during the structured dialogue between the leaders of the two parties.
“Each and every issue will be discussed and debated thoroughly at the right time. A Common Minimum Programme will be framed and the coalition government will work according to it,” he said.
The PDP spokesman, however, refused to divulge the details of how and when the structured dialogue will take place, while dismissing speculations that Mufti Mohammad Sayeed will take oath as chief minister on January along with six cabinet and five ministers of state on January 14 in the PDP-BJP coalition government.
BJP, whose top brass held consultations with its party leaders from the state Monday in Delhi, had said that PDP has shown some “initiative” in joining hands with it and hinted that certain controversial issues could be set aside.
With 28 seats in the 87-member state Assembly, PDP is the largest political party but 16 short of the 44 seats needed to form the government on its own. It has turned down offers of support from Congress (12 seats) and National Conference (15 seats) and shown interest in a tie-up with the BJP, which has 25 seats, all from Jammu region.
BJP may go slow due to Delhi polls: Report
Hindustan Times, quoting an anonymous PDP senior leader, reported that wary of giving the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party a handle to beat it with in upcoming Assembly elections for Delhi, the BJP could go slow on its talks with the PDP over government formation.
Since it has indicated that it was willing to put abrogation of Article 370 on the backburner, the Opposition might corner it for “compromising on its core agenda”.
If the two fail to cobble together a coalition, or no other combination comes into power, before the January 19 deadline, the state could see a spell of Governor’s rule.