‘Internal tussle in BJP delaying govt formation’

Moazum Mohammad

Srinagar: A tussle between its central and state leaderships is holding the BJP back from finalising an alliance with the People’s Democratic Party, a senior PDP leader said on Sunday.
The state BJP leaders, mainly those in Jammu region, insist that the party should not give up on its two demands: splitting the chief minister’s term between the two parties equally and keeping the abrogation of Article 370 on its agenda.
During informal talks between the two parties, their leaders had agreed to put on the backburner several contentious issues such as Article 370, Armed Forces Special Powers Act, “self rule” and talks with Pakistan. Instead, they had decided to stay focused on development.
The resentful state BJP unit has been emboldened by the support of Union minister of finance Arun Jaitley, who also is averse to granting the entire six-year term to a PDP chief minister.
“The negotiations are going on. The central leadership is cooperating but Arun Jaitley and Nirmal Singh have some reservations. The BJP central leadership wants to form a government as soon as possible as delay in this regard is damaging the credibility of elections,” said the PDP leader, who requested anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
He said the BJP central leadership wants to see a government in the state before January 26.
“Since Kashmir issue is a sensitive one, the BJP government in New Delhi will want to highlight the successful elections in Kashmir before US president Barrack Obama who is the chief guest on the Republic Day parade,” the leader said.
“BJP acknowledges that Pakistan can exploit the current situation if it were not preoccupied with fighting militants on its western borders,” he added.