Millennium Post

Article 370 holds up PDP-BJP alliance, PM to take final call

Article 370 holds up PDP-BJP alliance, PM to take final call
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to take the final call on the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) based on the suggestions of both the parties, with the PDP’s Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as Chief Minister for full five years.

The PDP, which emerged as a largest party in Muslim dominated Kashmir Valley, is against any attempt to weaken Article 370, which is seen as vital for the autonomy of the state by residents. Sources said that BJP’s peculiar predicament over Article 370 and Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Sayeed’s insistence on a written assurance from it has queered political pitch in J&K.

Earlier, BJP leaders had suggested that the need for Article 370 needed to be debated because it fanned separatism. It is learnt that the BJP is not ready to change its stance and is pushing for a “subtle distinction” on Article 370.

On AFSPA, PDP has also asked for a phased withdrawal, which gives the army the authority to make arrests without warrants. It is said to have suggested that the mechanism could be reinstated if necessary and sources said the two parties could settle on a flexible stand. Speaking to
Millennium Post BJP state vice-president Uttam Singh said, “The announcement will be made soon and issues on Article 370 and AFSPA will resolved.”

Sources said, PDP chief is set to take oath as Chief Minister and BJP’s Nirmal Singh is expected to be made the Deputy CM. “The Home and Finance portfolios are expected to be with the PDP, while BJP would get the posts of deputy chief minister and Assembly Speaker. Both the parties are bargaining hard for the Home portfolio and final decision is yet to be taken,” sources said. Ever since the “fractured” poll result was announced in the state on December 23, no political parties manage to reach an agreement over government formation.

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