A worker removes weed at the Dal Lake in Srinagar on Wednesday. The tenure of the outgoing J&K assembly comes to an end on January 18
The BJP and PDP are poring over a common minimum programme (CMP) as they tread cautiously, worried about resistance from within over the give and take in forming an alliance in Jammu and Kashmir.While the BJP has nominated a five-member party committee led by finance minister Arun Jaitley to draft the CMP, the PDP is likely to nominate MPs Muzaffar Hussain Baig and Tariq Hamid Karra, noted economist and banker turned politician Haseeb Drabu and chief spokesman Naeem Akhtar in its panel.PDP sources said the party had rejected a BJP proposal that the CMP could be settled after government formation. The PDP wants the contentious issues be first thrashed out before they go to the Governor to stake claim to form the government.”PDP is yet to formulate its response to the issues raised by BJP as the consultations across the spectrum are on and the party leadership is analyzing the feedback from the ground,” a senior PDP leader said.Once the leadership concretizes its response, it would be discussed in the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of the party and conveyed to BJP’s committee.The PDP refuted reports that a deal had been finalised for government formation, including on who will be chief minister and deputy chief minister and a swearing-in date had been set. The party suspected attempts at arm twisting by putting out such news when negotiations had hardly started.The BJP also denied reports of stitching up an alliance. “Lot of kite-flying over govt formation in J&K. Better note that no formal and structured dialogue has begun between any two parties,” BJP general secretary Ram Madhav tweeted on Wednesday.Sources talked of hardened stance on both sides leading to a short spell of the Governor’s rule from January 19 when the term of the present Assembly expires as the PDP has become suspicious of some of the initiatives taken by the BJP.A senior PDP leader in Srinagar said the BJP is coming out with new ideas to delay formation of the government at least until February 15 in view of the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections.Besides Jaitley, others in the party’s CMP committe include general secretary Ram Madhav, State BJP president Jugal Kishore, Union Minister of State (MoS) Jitendra Singh and Dr Nirmal Singh.Jitendra Singh is understood to be pushing demands that are irksome to the PDP like the demand for delimitation of the Assembly constituencies and citizenship right and reservation of two assembly seats to the West Pakistan refugees living in Jammu and Kashmir, sources said.The PDP also suspects his hand in Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Secretary Anil Goswami suo moto announcing a series of concessions to these refugees on Tuesday instead of waiting for formation of a government in Jammu and Kashmir and consulting it on some of the ticklish issues. The PDP sources say, they can accept the BJP proposal, if the Resettlement Act, passed by Jammu and Kashmir assembly twice in 1982 and 1983 is operationalised. The controversial act, allowing return of Muslims who had migrated between 47 and 48 to Pakistan after bloody riots broke in the region. The law was then referred to Supreme Court for legal opinion.PDP’s chief spokesperson Naeem Akhtar said no breakthrough has been witnessed so far as no formal talks over the formation of the new government in Jammu and Kashmir have taken place.