Political Settlement on the way in Jammu & Kashmir, Mehbooba to be first woman CM

mehbooba mufti peoples democratic party
Mehbooba Mufti was nominated as Chief Ministerial candidate in the party meeting

Jammu and Kashmir will soon have a government again, thus ending over two months long governor’s rule. The BJP-PDP alliance finally came to the decision of forming government in the State, declaring PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti as the first woman Chief Minister of J&K.

Mehbooba was unanimously elected as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader in the party meeting held on Thursday and was also nominated as the candidate for Chief Minister post.

BJP leader Sat Sharma addressed a press conference after the BJP legislature meeting held in Jammu just before both BJP and PDP were to meet J&K Governor NN Vohra. Sharma said, “The leaders of both the parties will go to Governor NN Vohra in a few days and present proposal to form government.” BJP MLA Nirmal Singh will continue to be the deputy CM of the state, he added. BJP general secretary Ram Madhav and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office Jitendra Singh were also a part of the meeting.

The BJP legislatures came to the conclusion that they will ally with PDP again, but without any change in the agenda decided earlier. “The BJP reiterated that no fresh conditions (by PDP) had been accepted and the alliance with the PDP will continue on the basis of the agenda of alliance signed (earlier) by the two parties,” source within BJP informed.

BJP-PDP government was formed in March last year and lasted for around 10 months. But following the demise of then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on 7 January, and denial of his daughter Mehbooba Mufti to take up his position, the state came under the Governor’s rule. As of now, the path for the formation of government is clear and Mehbooba Mufti is expected to take the oath by next week.

Earlier PDP chief Mehbooba had denied to accept the Chief minister position, demanding confidence building measures and assurances from BJP to implement already agreed agenda of alliance. The clouds over the alliance cleared after her recent meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi, which PDP chief termed as ‘positive’. She added, “When you meet the Prime Minister then the ways of sorting out problems becomes more clear.”

Last week, Indian Army had also announced to vacate huge portions of occupied land in Jammu and Kashmir, a demand made by Mehbooba Mufti for BJP-PDP coalition government in the state. The Northern Command would hand over 16.30 acres land near Jammu University campus, 212 acres at Tatoo Grounds in Srinagar and 456.60 kanals at High Grounds in Anantnag. Indian Army would also vacate the land held at lower Khurba Thang in Kargil. It has been decided that the Army would hand over the possession of land to the State government for developing it.

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