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PDP-BJP still struggling to stitch an alliance; Mehbooba meets Jaitley to iron the differences

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The two parties that are likely going to be partners for the next term of six years are trying to work out the differences on the contentious issues before coming to power.  Mehbooba Mufti, PDP president has been in Delhi since last weekend and recently met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to shrink the differences over the Common Minimum Programme to be approved before the formation of government. The meeting was held at Jaitley’s residence and was kept far from the media buzz. Jaitley along with senior party leader Arun Singh, has been approbated by the BJP to work out ways to form an alliance with the regional party in the state.

On December 23, the state observed a fractured mandate with PDP leading as the single largest party with 28 seats, followed by BJP with 25 seats. None of the parties could reach the magic number of 44 and since then the parties including the national and the regional parties have been struggling to form an alliance. The meeting took place amid the reports that RSS had raised questions over BJP abandoning the issue of Article 370  to find a common ground with PDP. Both Jaitley and Mehbooba however maintained silence after RSS raised question on the matter.Naeem Akhtar, PDP spokesperson was also unaware of the meeting held between the two leaders.

Nevertheless the BJP, despite indicating the inclination for formation of government was not compliant to the idea of giving a written assurance to its ally that it will not rake up the issue of Article 370.The disturbing defeat in Delhi has also led the central leaders address the concerns of the state unit leaders. The State unit BJP leaders have however, refused any surrender by the party on Article 370, AFSPA and citizenship rights to West Pak refugees else the foundation of the party in Jammu region will be washed away.

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