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J&K gov formation: BJP awaits formal initiation of dialogue with PDP

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New Delhi (Dec. 31, 2014): With positive signs emerging from the PDP over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP on Wednesday said it is awaiting the formal initiation of dialogue with the former.

The BJP reacted after PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti dropped hints of her party not being averse to joining hands with the saffron party as she invoked A.B. Vajpayee and said the mandate in the State was an “opportunity” for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The BJP leadership has been in talks with lower-rung PDP leaders for government formation after the polls threw a fractured verdict with the PDP emerging as the single largest party with 28 seats in the 87-member Assembly closely followed by the BJP with 25 seats.

While PDP got a majority of seats in the Kashmir region, the BJP got most of its seats from the Jammu region and there is stalemate over the next government.

According to BJP; Ms. Mufti’s remarks will help in ending the confusion in J&K to take the State forward on the path of development by providing a stable government.

Ms. Mufti earlier met Governor N.N. Vohra and held talks with him over her party’s preferences on formation of the government.

She said whatever formation is firmed up, it should respect the mandate of the people and have the principle of “reconciliation”, adding that “till that is not taken along, forming any government will be useless”.

Ms. Mufti said the mandate was a “challenge and opportunity” for national leadership, be it the NDA or the Congress.

“For NDA government, it is a big responsibility… for Modi, it is a big responsibility. Jammu and Kashmir has been the biggest challenge for any PM right from Nehru till date,” she added.

She also invoked the former Prime Minister saying, “It is not possible till Vajpayee’s political process is taken forward” and noted that he had started a political process and dialogue with Hurriyat as well as Pakistan.

Referring to Modi’s “dream” of development and addressing the problem of unemployment, the PDP leader said there cannot be “development till there is peace on the ground”.