Amit Shah Meets BJP Leaders From Jammu and Kashmir on Government Formation

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Amit Shah Meets BJP Leaders From Jammu and Kashmir on Government Formation

File photo of BJP chief Amit Shah

New Delhi:  BJP chief Amit Shah has summoned top leaders of his party in Jammu and Kashmir unit for an urgent meeting in Delhi today to discuss the way forward in the state, which still does not have a government 13 days after state election results were declared.

The meeting in Delhi comes as regional party People's Democratic Party or PDP hinted that it could tie up with the BJP. Leaders said the PDP wants development and reconstruction in the state which they do not envisage happening if they partner with rival regional party the National Conference or the Congress.   

But sources say formal talks between the PDP and the BJP scheduled for tomorrow may be delayed after fresh border tension with Pakistan. One of the conditions that the PDP - which won the highest number of seats in the state elections last month - has reportedly set for an alliance with the BJP is that the Centre resume talks with Pakistan.

There are other tricky demands that the PDP has reportedly made. It wants the revocation of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act or AFSPA, talks to be held with Kashmiri separatists and the promise that Article 370, which grants special status to J&K will not be revoked. These are issues that the BJP has held an opposite stance on for years.   

"We don't want to take any decision in haste, we want an alliance which will be stable for six years," said the BJP's state president Jugal Kishore, in Delhi for the meeting now on with Mr Shah. "All options are open and a decision will be taken soon," he added.

The BJP has won the second highest seats in J&K, at 25 three less than the PDP in J&K's fractured verdict. If they join hands, the PDP, a key regional party and the BJP will have a comfortable majority in the House.

The two parties have also been exploring tie-ups with other parties to make up the numbers for a majority at 44 seats.

Amit Shah said on Friday, "Talks are on with both parties (PDP and NC). There has been no fruitful outcome (yet)."

The Governor has set January 19 as a deadline for government formation in the state.

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