Mehbooba may meet Modi today, positive chances for govt formation

BJP reiterates it is not willing to accept any new conditions from PDP president

Mehbooba may meet Modi today, positive chances for govt formationPeoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti’s arrival in the Capital and her likely meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow has provided a new hope for re-formation of the PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir. BJP sources, however, say its stance on the essentials remains unchanged.
Reiterating general secretary Ram Madhav’s views on the issue last week, saffron leaders say they are not willing to accept any “new conditions” from the Jammu and Kashmir ally.
“It is not possible to form a government on conditions,” Madhav had said on March 18, a day after Mehbooba met
BJP chief Amit Shah in New Delhi.
Significantly though, Mehbooba’s arrival in the Capital coincides with the BJP reiteration of its commitment to the Agenda of the Alliance in the political resolution passed by its National Executive yesterday. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the BJP was “fully committed to the Agenda of the Alliance signed with the PDP last year to form the government in the state.
Meanwhile, sources close to Mehbooba also indicate some “changes” in her “overall attitude” over last week when she went back to Srinagar without meeting the Prime Minister. “She is not divulging what is on her mind but some change has taken place in her attitude since last week,” a source said. Apparently, certain “highly placed mediators” played a key role in ensuring that the talks move forward.
However, BJP leaders say that eventually it will be a meeting with the “right person” (Amit Shah) that will yield the right results. “Uddhav Thackeray (of ally Shiv Sena) believes he has the right to meet with the top man whenever he has problems with the party. She (Mehbooba) also feels the same. But the fact is alliance-related problems can only be sorted with the right person (Amit Shah),” a BJP leader said.
The sources expect Shah to be present at the meeting with the “top man”, whenever that happens. Her last meeting with Shah had failed to make any breakthrough. It remains to be seen whether the BJP is willing to concede a few extra points to Mehbooba by giving in to her “new demands” to save the future of its first government in the state.
Apparently, along with a “draft” given to her last week which underlines the BJP’s stance — issues it may be willing to cede to keep the PDP by its side — Mehbooba has also been apprised of the current ground situation in the state. And which is that the PDP may not be able to return with the same comfort if there is a re-election in the state now. Notably, last week Madhav said the Centre was always ready to look into demands of a state government but it was not possible to form a government on conditions.