BJP BACK TO DISCUSS GOVT FORMATION WITH MEHBOOBA
NEW DELHI: Top BJP leaders discussed the government formation in Jammu and Kashmir with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti, at her residence in Srinagar on Monday, sources said.
Soon after Mehbooba returned from Bijbehara where she offered 'Fateha' prayers at the grave of her father, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, on the 40th day of his demise, senior J&K BJP leaders including the state BJP president, Sat Paul Sharma and former deputy chief minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, dropped in at her Fairview residence.
The PDP chief was accompanied to her father's grave at the Dara Shikoh park in south Kashmir's Bijbehara town by her mother Gulshan Ara, brother Tasaduq Mufti, sister Rubiaya Sayeed and other members of the family as well as senior party leaders.
Monday was the 40th day of mourning for Mufti Sayeed who died on January 7 at AIIMS after battling multiple ailments over the years. It also officially marked the end of mourning period for Sayeed. “It was a purely personal visit meant to offer condolences to Mehboobaji on the 40th day of Mufti saheb’s death. There is no politics in it,” Sharma told The Citizen.
However, the party sources said the issue of the government formation also cropped up during the meeting. The BJP's state spokesman Sunil Sethi said the visit of the BJP leaders was the "first formal meeting" on government formation after the end of the 40-day mourning.
In New Delhi, the BJP president Amit Shah Monday authorised the party's general secretary Ram Madhav to fly to Jammu and Kashmir and finalise government formation arrangements with Mehbooba Mufti, according to reports.
"Amit Shah at a meeting in New Delhi on Monday authorised general secretary and party in charge of J&K affairs Ram Madhav to meet PDP president Mehbooba Mufti to finalise arrangements for government formation in the state", reports said.
Although the exact date of Madhav's meeting with Mehbooba has not been finalised yet, the PDP sources said it can take place on any day in this week.
Amid continuing stalemate, Ram Madhav Monday said in New Delhi that talks between BJP and PDP over government formation are on. "We are communicating with each other. It is not that communication between us has broken down," Madhav, who had played a key role in forging the PDP-BJP alliance, said.
Asked about new conditions put forth by PDP for the resumption of alliance, he said the BJP has shared its views too with the regional party and talks were continuing.
The killing of two civilians in south Kashmir's Pulwama district on Sunday may also cast a shadow on the government formation with the state government Monday ordering a magisterial inquiry into the incident.
Governor NN Vohra, who will be reviewing the security situation in the Valley today, directed the officials to complete the probe within 15 days.
There has been a political stalemate in Jammu and Kashmir after Mehbooba sought "confidence building measures" from the central government before entering into the alliance with the BJP.
The PDP chief had declined to discuss any government formation arrangements with the BJP before the 40-day mourning period for her father ended.
The state was put under governor's rule on January 9 with Governor NN Vohra appointing two retired senior IAS officers of the state cadre as his advisors to run the state administration.
(Picture by Basit Zargar: Complete shutdown in Srinagar following death of 2 students)