Mehbooba has to make up her mind: Jaitley on J&K stalemate

Even as the BJP-PDP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir is tottering on brink, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today asked PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti to make up her mind.

“The fact is that the PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti has to really make up her mind,” Jailtey told Shekhar Gupta, former Editor of Indian Express in a conversation organised by his media start-up ‘The Print’ which he launched with television journalist Barhka Dutt.

Noting that the PDP and BJP are ideologically quite distinct, Jaitley said, “Our support bases are different, our core beliefs may also be different. But then there was one commonality that the people of J&K threw up a hung verdict”.

“As far as the BJP is concerned, we stand by the J&K package which the Prime Minister announced in toto. Every word will be implemented. Secondly, as far as the agenda for governance is concerned, between BJP and PDP, we are fully committed to agenda items we had agreed on,” he said.

Attempts to revive the BJP-PDP coalition in Jammu and Kashmir suffered a setback last week with BJP ruling out government-formation on PDP’s conditions.

PDP with 27 MLAs and BJP with 25 members had formed an alliance on March 1 last year with Mufti Mohammed Sayeed as the Chief Minister. Both the sides had formed an “Agenda of Alliance” which sought to address internal and external dimensions of the state.

The PDP had toughened its stance after Sayeed’s demise by seeking concrete plans for the state’s development including handing over of power projects to the state and vacation of land by Army before the coalition could be resumed.

Governor’s rule was imposed in the state on January 8 after Mehbooba decided against taking over the reins after her father’s death.