Even as the deadlock on government formation continues in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of a fractured mandate, top sources here indicated possibility of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance becoming a reality. It is believed that prime minister Narendra Modi and the BJP president Amit Shah, who have deliberated on the tough conditions set by the PDP, were positively inclined to discuss them further, to give a face-saver to the Kashmir-centric regional party.
The PDP has said amongst its conditions two — a status quo on the Article 370 and a time-frame for the revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA — were non-negotiable.
In Srinagar, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed and his daughter, the party president, Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday consulted newly elected MLAs in one-to-one meetings to elicit their views on government formation. The party’s younger lot, it is believed, is against tying up with the BJP. But may give up their resistance if the BJP concedes party’s core demands.
Meanwhile, a support for the PDP-BJP alliance has come from an unexpected quarter. Former Delhi high court chief justice, civil rights activist and a known secular face, Justice (retd) Rajinder Sachar has called it an “odd, but better solution” for avoiding governor’s role. He, however, suggested that BJP’s efforts for anointing a Hindi chief minister from Jammu was most dangerous for J&K and will make any permanent solution of J&K impossible.
But not to be left behind, the Congress president Sonia Gandhi also took up matters in her own hands, to dissuade PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed from reaching an agreement with the BJP, which has won the highest – 23% – of the popular vote and maximum 25 seats in the Hindu-dominated Jammu region.