New Delhi/Srinagar: After a month long deadlock, the PDP-BJP alliance would be back on track in Jammu and Kashmir with the saffron party saying both sides are “positive”, indicating its willingness to accepting Mehbooba Mufti’s demand for a time-bound implementation of certain provisions of the Agenda for Alliance.
BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, who held a closed-door meeting with Mehbooba at Srinagar yesterday evening, said the alliance between the two formed a year ago will continue on the basis of “previous arrangement”.
“Talks were positive…I hope there will be continuation of previous arrangement,” he told reporters in New Delhi.
He said the coalition will work on the basis of the Agenda for Alliance firmed up between the two parties last year and insisted that “there will be no dilution” or “any new addition” in it.
At the same time, he said BJP is willing to discuss bringing into a “timeline” a “few issues” which have found a mention in the alliance’s Common Minimum Programme, implying readiness to accept Mehbooba’s demand in this regard.
He said the PDP leaders would arrive shortly to discuss these issues with BJP leaders as well as ministers since some of them concern the government.
He refused to divulge the issues discussed between the two. As reported by Kashmir Reader, Mehbooba had sought a time-bound guarantee on the implementation of the Agenda for Alliance and demanded that the BJP should not raise the Article 370 ‘bogey’.
Mehbooba is learnt to have asked the BJP to provide a time frame on night-landing of flights at Srinagar Airport, the return of power projects to the state and partial revocation of AFSPA besides others.
Madhav denied a media report, which said that BJP has agreed to revoke AFSPA from some areas of Kashmir on trial basis, claiming that there has been no discussion on it with Mehbooba.
He added that yesterday’s meeting was the first detailed discussion between the two parties over the government formation. He said he had conveyed to Mehbooba that the government under her late father was running well on the basis of the Common Minimum Programme and BJP wanted the arrangement to continue.
The two leaders decided to “speed up” work on a few issues and put them under a “timeline”, he said but did not elaborate.
“There will be more clarity after the meeting of PDP leaders with BJP leadership,” Madhav added.
Meanwhile, a senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister of the coalition government Nirmal Singh also said the meeting between the two party leaders ended on a “positive” note and both the parties have agreed to continue the alliance in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Ram Madhav told me that his hour long meeting with Mehbooba Mufti ended on positive lines and hopefully both the parties will form the government in the state in coming days. It is absolutely wrong that BJP has acceded to some of the demands of PDP as has been circulated in a section of press. PDP has not set any conditions but yes that party has some reservations over some issues and we have officially assured them that Agenda for Alliance will be pursued and followed in letter and spirit,” Singh told CNS.
He said the BJP leaders would convene a meeting before taking any final decision on the formation of the government.
Singh, however, said that returning of power projects from the NHPC didn’t figure in the meeting. The return of power projects is one of the provisions in the AfA document.
“PDP did not set any condition during the meeting but it was stressed upon that both the parties should govern on the basis of already formulated AfA,” he said.