Free Press Journal

Mufti Sayeed to swear-in on Sunday, PM Modi to attend


Mufti Mohammad Sayeed

New Delhi: Setting the stage for the installation of PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and PDP patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed today shook hands and hugged each other noting that the coalition was like “bringing together of North Pole and South Pole”. 79-year-old Sayeed will take oath as the state’s Chief Minister along with 12 members each from PDP and BJP at Jammu at a ceremony to be attended by Modi. BJP’s Nirmal Singh is expected to be the Deputy Chief Minister.

The two parties, bitter rivals in the past, have held intense negotiations since December when the election verdict resulted in a hung Assembly, to put together the coalition on the basis of Common Minimum Programme (CMP) which will be released on Sunday. The CMP will cover all controversial issues like Article 370, Armed Forces Special Powers Act and resettlement of West Pakistan Refugees.

Reflecting the difficulties they faced, Sayeed said after an hour-long meeting with the Prime Minister that the coalition was like “bringing together North Pole and South Pole”. He made it clear that the coalition was first a political alliance and then an alliance for governance.

“It (the alliance) is both for political and governance. First political and then governance. When political atmosphere will be right then only governance will take place,” Sayeed, who later met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and also visited the residence of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, said. When asked about Article 370 which gives special status to the state and AFSPA, Sayeed said, “Leave these issues. These are not issues. We have to do all this (hame karna padta hai)… All this will come in the CMP which will be announced after the swearing-in.”

BJP’s chief interlocutor on talks with PDP Ram Madhav also skirted questions on decisions taken on controversial issues saying that “one needs to wait till Sunday and see for themselves that there has been no compromise. Both the parties, which are diametrically opposite, have arrived at a common ground on contentious issues.” “We have reached an excellent understanding,” Madhav said and also clarified that the CMP had the “blessings” of all stake holders including the Sangh Parivar.