Srinagar: After a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Tuesday, which she described as ‘positive’, Mehbooba Mufti is tipped to take oath as the first woman chief minister of J&K by March 29.
“The meeting with Prime Minister Modi was very positive. I will call a legislature party meeting on Thursday,” Mehbooba told reporters after emerging out of the PM’s residence in the Indian capital.
On government formation in the state, she said, “As I said I will talk to my MLAs because that is the forum. This is not the place. There is a particular place to make such announcements. I will go back to Srinagar and take the next step,” she added.
A statement issued by PDP in Srinagar said the party would decide its future course over government formation on Thursday.
On Thursday, the PDP will hold legislators meet at Mufti’s Gupkar residence where Mehbooba will be elected as legislature party leader, which will pave way for her to stake claim for the chief minister’s post.
“We are seeing a stalemate for last two to three months over government formation in the state but today I am satisfied. I am very satisfied,” she told reporters.
“When you meet the PM then the ways of sorting out problems becomes clearer,” said Mehbooba who will be back in Srinagar on Wednesday.
I am waiting for a concrete and credible message from New Delhi. Let them say that the agenda of alliance which was mutually agreed upon would be fulfilled in letter and spirit and the government would come up immediately after that
If I take a step, it is not that I want to be a cut above. I want that if we form the government, its benefit should reach the people here
J&K is different from other states and needs a “good atmosphere, space and a fillip” if a new government is to be formed.
Mufti sahab ka faisla pather ki lakeer hai (Mufti sahab’s decision is cast in stone). I am committed to taking it forward. He took this decision very carefully. His decision is my decision but there is an Agenda for Alliance also.
After her father’s death, Mehbooba had been seeking ‘confidence building measures’ and ‘full implementation of the Agenda for Alliance’ the two parties had agreed upon when they formed the government last year.
But BJP categorically refused to accept these demands and told PDP that only a government, not a political party, should come forward with demands, forcing Mehbooba to return to the Valley two days ago.
At this point, the chances of the government formation had seemed bleak, But, sources said, a former bureaucrat who has close connections with both PDP and BJP intervened, which renewed the hopes for an alliance again.
PDP chief spokesperson Naeem Akhtar said the government would be formed by the end of this month.
“We are meeting on Thursday and hopefully the government should be in place by 29th of March,” Naeem told a local news agency KNS.
The BJP did not issue an official statement after the Modi-Mehbooba meeting. Also, both parties said they are not aware about what transpired between the two.
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted that the PDP should come clear about the concessions Mehbooba extracted during her meeting with Modi.
“PDP must come clean and let people know what concessions Mehbooba sought from the PM & what assurances, if any, she received from him,” Omar said.
Opposition in the Valley criticised the PDP for its decision to forge the alliance again with the saffron party.