Amit Shah talks to RSS over govt formation in Jammu and Kashmir

BJP on Thursday intensified its efforts for government-formation in Jammu and Kashmir with party President Amit Shah rushing to RSS headquarters to pacify Sangh leaders and another set of saffron leaders approaching PDP leaders who include patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, to find an amicable stand on controversial AFSPA.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 19, 2015, 21:58 PM IST

New Delhi: BJP on Thursday intensified its efforts for government-formation in Jammu and Kashmir with party President Amit Shah rushing to RSS headquarters to pacify Sangh leaders and another set of saffron leaders approaching PDP leaders who include patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, to find an amicable stand on controversial AFSPA.

While PDP spokesman Naeem Akthar said "talks were on and we are hopeful of a positive outcome soon", sources in the know of the developments said that both sides were finding a solution on withdrawal of controversial of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

PDP has been demanding a written assurance for withdrawal of AFSPA from certain areas of the Kashmir Valley and Jammu region, an idea first floated by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. BJP, however, has started dragging its feet and made it clear that it will not dilute its stand on issues like Article 370 and AFSPA.

BJP sources said the dialogue with PDP leaders is continuing to iron out differences on crucial issues and come out with a consensus and make it a part of the common minimum programme of the proposed alliance government in the state.

Amit Shah rushed to meet top RSS leaders this morning and is learnt to have discussed these crucial issues with them. The meeting comes in the backdrop of opposition from RSS over reported dilution of BJP's stand on Article 370 and giving citizenship to West Pakistan Refugees.

BJP and PDP are keen to form a coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir where assembly elections threw up a hung verdict. Earlier, the two parties wanted a government in place before budget session of parliament session beginning February 23 but the differences on crucial issues has delayed such an exercise.

While PDP emerged as the single-largest party with 28 seats, BJP won 25 seats in the 87-member state assembly in results declared in December last.

The leaders of the two parties have been in constant talks with each other to iron out differences and come out with a CMP. Leaders also admit to differences between the ideologies of the two parties on certain crucial issues including AFSPA and Article 370.

The protracted talks between BJP and PDP has evoked reactions from National Conference (NC) which said the two parties should now come in the open and stop "fooling" people in the name of good governance.

Working President of the party Omar tweeted "I have to ask - PDP/BJP support each other for the RS polls, repeat for the Legislative council seats and expect people to believe no tie up yet???"