Kashmir stalemate may end after Mehbooba-Modi ‘positive’ talks

New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) The political stalemate over the government formation in Jammu and Kashmir may end soon after Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti’s “positive” meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday in the capital.

Mehbooba’s meeting with Modi at his official 7 Race Course residence came days after she flew back to Srinagar rather upset after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) snubbed her over the PDP’s fresh conditions on continuation of the ruling alliance in the state.

BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, in charge of the party’s affairs in Jammu and Kashmir, said last week that his party would not be accepting any fresh demands and conditions from the PDP.

But on Tuesday Mehbooba appeared upbeat, dropping hints that a new government in Jammu and Kashmir may be formed soon.

“The meeting was very positive. When you meet the prime minister, it means the issues regarding problems of the people are discussed and positive decisions taken,” Mehbooba told reporters after over half-an-hour discussions with with Modi.

Asked if she would be sworn in soon as the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba replied, “I have been authorised to take the final call on government formation and hold discussions regarding the issue by the party’s legislature party.”

“We are holding a legislature party meeting on March 24 (Thursday). The final announcement would be made there.”

Jammu and Kashmir has been without an elected government after Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed died on January 7 in a Delhi hospital and the state came under Governor’s Rule.

The PDP and BJP formed a coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir in March 2015 after assembly elections threw up a fractured mandate.

Mehbooba has been dragging her feet over government formation in the state after her father’s death, and refused to take oath as the new chief minister till several demands made by the PDP were met by the BJP-led central government.

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