We Are The Best Of Friends: PDP-BJP
SRINAGAR: Terming the reports of differences with the BJP over portfolio distribution as "rumours", the Peoples Democratic Party Saturday said the two parties are meeting the Governor NN Vohra today to stake claim for government formation.
"There are absolutely no differences (between PDP and BJP). The process of government formation is on. These rumours (on differences on distribution of portfolios) are baseless. There are absolutely no differences between the two parties," PDP chief spokesman Naeem Akhtar said.
He said both the parties will sit together and decide the date of oath-taking ceremony after meeting Governor which will be followed by consultations. "We will meet the Governor at around 4:00 PM today to stake claim for the formation of the government. Then we will sit together and decide the date for oath-taking," he said.
The two parties were expected to meet the Governor on Friday but the meeting was deferred due to unspecified reasons, sparking speculations about the tussle in coalition partners over the share of ministerial berths.
An official spokesperson said that as per the Governor’s letters of March 22 to the PDP President, Mehbooba Mufti and State President BJP, Sat Sharma, they were scheduled to have separate meetings with him at Raj Bhavan in Jammu on Friday afternoon.
The spokesperson said Raj Bhavan was approached by the PDP Fridayafternoon to ascertain whether the PDP and BJP leaders could meet the Governor together Friday evening. “This was agreed to,” the spokesperson said.
However, the spokesman disclosed that the PDP and BJP leaders later informed Raj Bhavan that talks were ongoing at Jammu between the leaders of their parties and they would make a fresh request for meeting the Governor when they had concluded their discussions.
Although the two parties didn’t clearly specify reasons for postponing the meeting, some reports indicate that there is a tussle within the coalition over the share of ministerial berths.
According to these reports, the BJP is demanding more ministerial berths from the PDP, which walked away with the lion’s share after the two parties formed the government last year.
However, a senior PDP leader dismissed the reports, “We are forming the government on the basis of alliance agenda worked out last year. So there is no question of any party getting more or less ministerial berths. There may be a reshuffle within the parties but the arrangement will remain the same,” the leader said.
Both the parties have some crucial ministries under their fold including Home, Finance, R&B and Revenue with the PDP while Power, Forests and Health was given to the BJP, according to the arrangement worked out between the two parties last year.
The BJP yesterday unanimously decided to form the government with PDP and support PDP's chief ministerial candidate Mehbooba Mufti.It had also elected former deputy chief minister Dr Nirmal Singh as legislative party leader who would be the party's candidate for the post of Deputy Chief Minister.
Dispelling rumours of differences, MoS in PMO and BJP MP Jitendra Singh had yesterday said there was never a breakdown in the coalition between BJP and PDP and "I think this is the continuation of the process which started about a year ago".PDP today termed as baseless the "rumours" that there were differences between PDP and BJP over the issue of distribution of portfolios in the new government.