Jammu and Kashmir govt formation: Mufti Sayeed to take oath as chief minister on Sunday

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New Delhi: The Peoples Democratic Party and Bharatiya Janata Party have “sorted out all the hitches” in the Agenda for Alliance after the representatives of the coalition partners met late last night, “ensuring” that the high profile meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed “is not delayed”.

Mufti, who is the Chief Ministerial candidate for the coalition, will meet Modi at 9 am on Friday. Sources in the PDP say that the “last minute disagreements were sorted out in a late night meeting”.

The framework for the coalition government called Agenda for Alliance was written by PDP’s Haseeb Drabu and BJP’s Ram Madhav after a two month long negotiations where the “two parties managed to arrive on a consensus on various sensitive issues, transcending major ideological differences”.

The Modi-Mufti meeting on Friday that is portrayed as a high-light of the negotiations between the two parties was put on hold after there were last minute hitches on various issues, including the specific offer of dialogue to Hurriyat. Though the meeting had been slotted for Friday morning well in advance, it wasn’t confirmed till the two parties resolved their differences.

Mufti had insisted that he would meet Modi only after a “complete consensus” is arrived between the two parties and he doesn’t want to discuss any pending issues with the Prime Minister. The oath ceremony of the coalition government has been planned for Sunday (March 1) in Jammu. Sources reveal that Mufti would invite PM Modi for the oath ceremony.

According to sources, the coalition government will have 12 cabinet ministers, which would be equally divided between the two parties. While Mufti would be Chief Minister for the entire six-year tenure, BJP’s Nirmal Singh is said to be the Deputy Chief Minister. The two parties are also going to share the post of Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and Chairman of the Legislative Council as well.

This is for the first time that BJP would be part of coalition government in J&K. The PDP-BJP coalition was negotiated because of a fractured verdict during the recent assembly polls. While PDP was the largest party with 28 seats in the 87 member house, BJP won 25. NC won 15 while Congress managed to secure 12. Sajjad Lone led Peoples Conference – an ally of the BJP – has won two seats.

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