Mehbooba sets AFSPA condition, BJP not keen to concede ground
NEW DELHI: The political deadlock in J&K looked set to draw out as BJP has responded coldly to feelers from the Peoples Democratic Party for “assurances” on withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from two districts and removal of troops occupying non-military buildings.
The state has been under governor’s rule as PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti almost kept to herself in Srinagar after the death of her father, chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, on January 7, stoking speculations that the two allies were playing hardball to rewrite the terms of agreement with new conditions. The alliance partners were waiting for formal negotiations on government formation to start, though the BJP appeared disinclined to widen the ambit of the “agenda for alliance” agreed upon last year before forming a coalition government with the ideologically-opposite PDP.
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PDP president Mehbooba Mufti (extreme left) at the Republic Day celebrations in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, on Tuesday.