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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

PDP-BJP government likely in March beginning

Centre may commit to return one power project, announce more in Budget

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

JAMMU, Feb 9: Following certain developments---including the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s meeting with Governor Narendra Nath Vohra in Jammu and Tuesday’s meeting between Governor and union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi---the PDP-BJP government headed by Mehbooba Mufti may become a reality in the first week of March.

Knowledgeable sources disclosed to STATE TIMES on Tuesday that a senior PDP leader on behalf of Ms Mufti was currently holding negotiations directly with Prime Minister’s Office. After a series of deliberations, the BJP Government at the Centre is understood to have agreed to announce some crucial developmental projects for J&K, including some financial package over and above the PM’s Rs 80,000 crore package, in the Union Budget in the Parliament on February 27.

Even before that, Centre has agreed to announce return of one of the NHPC projects to the State for which a bureaucratic procedure would be adopted. After deduction of the depreciation of cost, its value could be determined and deducted from the financial package to be announced for J&K.

“However, there is no question of the Centre agreeing to PDP’s demand of addressing the internal dimension of the Kashmir problem (initiating dialogue with the Kashmiri separatists), revocation of AFSPA, relocation of the troops, withdrawal of the petitions filed by BJP members and affiliate groups against State flag and Article 35-A of the Constitution of India and such other demands”, said a source claiming to be privy to the negotiations.

According to sources, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the BJP President Amit Shah to send General Secretary Ram Madhav to Srinagar on February 17. Madhav could attend Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s 40th day after death and also fine tune things with the PDP President who had previously, according to some reports, refused to interact with anybody below the BJP President and the Prime Minister.

“If everything progresses smoothly, the Centre would commit on return of one NHPC power project and subsequently made certain announcements in the Union Budget that should reasonably satisfy Ms Mufti. We can expect her to take oath in the first week of March”, said a political source in the top level of the BJP. He admitted that BJP had suffered some serious reverses in Jammu in the last 11 months but asserted that the PDP’s position in Valley had turned equally worse. According to him, neither of the two parties was prepared to face interim elections and formation of the government was yet again their “compulsion”.


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