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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mehbooba says ball of government formation is in BJP’s court

‘As soon as BJP will give traction to Agenda of Alliance, I’ll come forward to fulfil Mufti Sahab’s objective’

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

JAMMU, March 7: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti reiterated on Monday that the ball was in BJP’s court with regard to formation of the new government, after her father and Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s death, in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Mufti Sahab took a bold decision of forging an alliance with the BJP and the NDA in March 2015 for the larger interest of the promotion of brotherhood and peace, for the purpose of providing employment to the unemployed. We the Kashmiris often face accusation of not being loyal to the word. My father was true to his word, so am I. But the fact is that the Agenda of Alliance he made with the BJP needs traction. As soon as BJP will give traction to the Agenda of Alliance and there’s a tangible progress, I’ll come forward to fulfil Mufti Sahab’s objective”, Ms Mufti said in her interaction with media after addressing the party workers conference at Tourist Reception Centre at Kupwara.

In her 40-minute-long speech earlier, Mehbooba dispelled the impression that she was not inclined to take over as Chief Minister of the new PDP-BJP government. She said that she would occupy the Chief Minister’s chair in the interest of the people of Jammu and Kashmir but only after the BJP came forward with a tangible progress on the promises made to the PDP and the initiatives mutually agreed upon by the coalition partners in the Agenda of Alliance.

An emotionally surcharged Mehbooba said that Mufti’s decision of forging alliance with BJP was a fait accompli and she would strictly abide by it, subject to the condition that the BJP came forward with necessary confidence building measures “to fill up the trust deficit between New Delhi and Srinagar”. Like in the last two months, she did not specify what precisely she wanted BJP to do for re-stitching a coalition with the PDP. This ambiguity prompted the audiences, including mediapersons, to believe that the PDP President had mellowed down her rigidity and she would need just a vague statement from the BJP or a Central leader’s visit to give her consent to the oath-taking.

“Mufti saheb was well known for his conviction in his decisions and his commitment to fulfil them with unflinching faith and sincerity despite tremendous pressures. PDP will always honour his decision with the same unflinching faith and sincerity of purpose but it is the turn of Government of India to reciprocate its sincerity towards his vision of peace and prosperity of the state by taking tangible action on ground ” she asserted.

Mehbooba said she and her party were committed to the “Agenda of Alliance” which encompassed redresses for “almost all the facets of J&K’s peculiar challenges including internal, external, political, security, economic, social, developmental and governance issues in a comprehensive and effective manner”.

“I am sure if the measures spelled out in the Agenda of Alliance are implemented with sincerity of purpose, it will go a long way in not only addressing the trust-deficit between New Delhi and J&K but would also lay strong foundations for sustainable peace and prosperity in the State and the region,” she said. “While Mufti Mohammad Sayeed made a visionary move in March 2015 by entering into coalition with BJP to form a stable government in the State, it was and is the responsibility of the Government of India to reciprocate the same by taking tangible steps towards implementation of the Agenda of Alliance, which addresses political, economic and developmental aspirations of all the regions and sub-regions of the State”, she added.


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