Mufti Mohammad Sayeed meets PM Modi, Grand PDP-BJP deal sealed

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Mufti Mohammad Sayeed
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Photo: Faisal Khan

PDP patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed   met Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the swearing-in of the PDP-BJP alliance government on Sunday that will see him return as Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister. The meeting comes after the BJP and PDP reached a consensus on a Common Minimum Programme (CMP) that will form the basis of their unique coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir.  While Shah had tweeted after the meeting that “glory will be restored in the ‘Jewel of the Crown’, BJP-PDP Govt will take J and K to new heights by ensuring good governance and development”, Mehbooba had said that this government was not for power sharing but to “win hearts and minds of the people of the state”.

Sayeed, who arrived in the capital , met the Prime Minister at his residence  7  RCR to give finishing touches to the cabinet that would be sworn-in along with Sayeed on Sunday.The new alliance government is unique as the BJP, which secured 25 seats in the Assembly elections, will be part of the government .  The swearing-in function will be held in Jammu where Governor N N Vohra will administer oath to Sayeed, who is returning as Chief Minister after a gap of more than nine years.

He was earlier Chief Minister of the state in alliance with Congress from November 2002 to November 2005.Sayeed is likely to invite Modi for the swearing-in function in Jammu which will be held at Zorawar auditorium.  A former Union Home Minister in V P Singh government,which was supported by the BJP from outside in 1989, Sayeed has refused to comment on controversial issues like Article 370, revoking of Armed Forces Special Powers Act,rehabilitation of West Pakistan Refugees and talks with separatists.

“I won’t talk on the issues….it (CMP) will come in black and white and the entire public of the country will see what we are doing,” he had said last evening after his arrival in the capital .  Sayeed invited Modi for his swearing-in ceremony to be held in Jammu on March 1. no substantial changes were made to the alliance agenda, which contains a joint approach on Article 370 and the controversial Armed Forced Special Powers Act that gives overriding powers to the military. Mufti has said that the differences with BJP over the contentious issues like Article 370 and AFSPA have been “ironed out” in the Common Minimum Programme (CMP).  “Please wait for some more time. The differences have been ironed out and everything will be clear in the CMP,”Mufti had said.

He had also termed the coalition between PDP and BJP as an historic opportunity to end the decades old mistrust between the two regions of the state.”I see this (PDP-BJP coalition) as an historic opportunity to end the decades of mistrust between Kashmir and Jammu regions of the state,” he had said.

The National conference with its 15 members had offered its support to PDP to form the government in the state whichwas rejected by PDP.  Congress’s Ghulam Nabi Azad too had floated the idea of a grand alliance between Congress, National Conference and PDP to keep away what he termed as “communal forces” away; however Azad’s idea too was rejected by PDP.

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