Mehbooba Mufti: Very Positive Meeting With Modi Over J&K Government Formation

22/03/2016 12:11 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images
NEW DELHI, INDIA - DECEMBER 5: (Editor's Note: This is an exclusive shoot of Hindustan Times) Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed, President of the Jammu & Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party, speaks during a session at Hindustan Times Leadership Summit on December 5, 2015 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Gurinder Osan/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- More than two months after her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed passed away, Mehbooba Mufi, who now heads the Peoples Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to try and resolve the deadlock over forming the government in the conflict-ridden state.

Mufti described her meeting with Modi on Tuesday morning, which lasted about 30 minutes at his residence in the national capital, as "good" and "very positive."

"When you meet with the Prime Minister, and you have a good talk, then ways of resolving the problems which the people of Jammu and Kashmir get clearer," she told reporters.

Declining to reveal details of her discussion with the Prime Minister, Mufti said that she would have more to say after discussing matters with her party's lawmakers on Thursday.

Jammu and Kashmir State is presently under Governor's Rule.

More than two months after her father passed away on January 7, 2016, Mufti, who succeeds him as chief of the PDP, still hasn't confirmed her party's alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Rumours about changes in the PDP-BJP alliance, regarded as unnatural from its birth in the spring of 2015, has been the source of high drama and speculation, over the past three months.

The State Assembly election, which recorded one of the highest voter turnouts in Jammu and Kashmir, led to PDP emerging as the single largest party with 28 seats, BJP 25, National Conference 15 and Congress 12.

Mufti would be the first woman Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir State if she steps into her father's shoes.

But Mufti has steadfastly refused to take oath until the Modi government and BJP meets her demands regarding the future course of the state.

Presently, the PDP-BJP partnership hinges on the Agenda For Alliance, a document that aimed to give some insight into how the two parties plan to tackle some of these tough issues, but the language doesn't really pin down any consensus.

The situation seemed bleak after Mufti's discussion with BJP President Amit Shah reached an impasse, last week, and BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav said that his party was not willing to accommodate any new demands over and above the existing pact.

"We are not ready to accept any new demand," Madhav said.

On Monday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that circumstances had forced the PDP and BJP to work together, and both parties would have to find a way to work together.

"The fact is that the PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti has to really make up her mind," said Jaitley.

"Our support bases are different, our core beliefs may also be different. But then there was one commonality that the people of J&K threw up a hung verdict," he said.

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