SRINAGAR: BJP National Secretary Ram Madhav has insisted that PDP President Mehbooba Mufti should form the government in Jammu and Kashmir before the annual budget session begins in New Delhi.
Madhav held a closed door meeting with Mehbooba at her Fairview residence Gupkar on Wednesday for nearly two hours. The BJP leader arrived in Srinagar at around 5pm and straightaway drove to the Mufti’s residence.
It was learnt that Madhav assured Mehbooba that some ‘positive announcements’ would be made in the annual budget. However, Madhav did not talk to reporters who were waiting outside the Mufti residence and left for New Delhi in a special plane.
Sources said Mehbooba sought a time-bound guarantee on the implementation of the Agenda of Alliance and demanded that the BJP should not raise the Article 370 ‘bogey’. Among the Confidence Building Measures Mehbooba wants from the BJP are night-landing arrangements at Srinagar Airport, the return of power projects to the state and partial revocation of AFSPA.
“It’s now or never. The BJP is eager but we want not only an assurance but a guarantee that the CBM’s will be implemented in a time bound manner,” PDP sources said.
The meeting gains significance as it is being seen as a first move between the two alliance partners to stitch a government in the state after the demise of Mufti Sayeed.
Mehbooba, a source said, would take some more time to form the government unless an announcement was not made. She is demanding that the Government of India should initiate Jammu and Kashmir-specific measures before the formation of the government.
She had also said that Jammu and Kashmir being ‘different from other states’ needs ‘good atmosphere and space’ if a new government is to be formed. “If at all the alliance is to be re-stitched, it will take some more time as the JNU event has changed the situation,” the sources said, “If the BJP announces the CBMs, we are ready, as we are not concerned about how other states think of the BJP. We are focused on the development of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Mehbooba was again assured by the party’s core group of their support on the 40th day of mourning for her late father, that she should not buckle under pressure and should seek guarantees from the BJP, sources said. “Even the issue of civilian killings is one of the issues we asked her to take up with the BJP. We want that the CM should be in total control of the situation and the forces should be accountable to her,” sources said.