After meeting PM, Mehbooba set to be J&K CM: ‘Trust him’

Speaking to reporters outside 7 Race Course Road, Mehbooba said: "The meeting with Prime Minister Modi was very positive. I will call a legislature party meeting on Thursday," she said.

Written by Muzamil Jaleel | New Delhi | Updated: March 23, 2016 3:52 am
Narendra Modi, Mehbooba Mufti in Delhi Tuesday. (Source: PTI) Narendra Modi, Mehbooba Mufti in Delhi Tuesday. (Source: PTI)

AFTER two-and-a-half months of political “hide and seek”, Mehbooba Mufti is all set to be the next Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir. Sources close to Mehbooba said she has “decided to repose trust in Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” who called her back from Srinagar for a meeting after talks between the two alliance partners had failed.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Mehbooba said, “It was a very good meeting. I am satisfied with the outcome. It won’t be proper to talk publicly about what was discussed. I had raised some questions and I am satisfied with the assurances”.

The PDP leader did not elaborate on whether the BJP had accepted any of her conditions. But she is learnt to have sought a “re-affirmation of its (BJP’s) faith in the agenda of alliance” — a joint roadmap agreed upon by the two parties to forge an alliance last year — by “giving a timetable to fulfill the agreed political and governance programme”.

“Prime Minister Modi has bridged the trust deficit. This is the climax of the story,’’ said a PDP leader who helped facilitate the talks with BJP. But in Kashmir, the overnight change in Mehbooba’s stance was described as an “anti-climax”, with another PDP leader and former minister suggesting that the party chief may have been prompted to revive the alliance after receiving a “honest wake-up call” from within.

“It is an anti-climax because now we don’t even know as to why we didn’t form a government for two-and-a-half months. I had told Mehboobaji clearly that the MLAs don’t want another election and that they will go ahead and form a government, if it comes to that, without her as well. It wasn’t a revolt but an honest wake-up call. I don’t understand why she put the party through such strain, if a 35-minute meeting with the Prime Minister was all that was needed to make us friends with BJP again,” said the leader.

According to sources, it was after several rounds of talks that the decks were cleared for a high-level meeting between Mehbooba and BJP president Amit Shah last Thursday in Delhi.

While Mehbooba had sought tangible assurances from the BJP leadership on the “agenda of alliance” as well as a timeframe for its implementation, sources said Shah agreed on “assurances but not publicly” because “such a move won’t be politically feasible” for his party.

Sources said Shah also insisted they would talk about “concrete measures” only after the PDP-BJP government was in place. A meeting with Prime Minister Modi had been planned as a sequel to the Mehbooba-Shah meeting on Friday. But Mehbooba, sources said, didn’t want to meet Modi until the issues that she had raised were resolved.

Sources close to Mehbooba said that while she was waiting for the Prime Minister to return from Rajasthan, the BJP issued a statement saying they won’t accept any of PDP demands which “was a clear indication that the talks have failed”.
On Saturday morning, Mehbooba took a morning flight to Srinagar where she was facing a challenge on multiple levels. A majority of MLAs were “scared” of a re-election at this point of time and a few former ministers were toying with the idea of replacing Mehbooba as the legislative party chief to pave way for government formation with BJP. The second group was in constant touch with the BJP, said sources.

The situation then took a dramatic turn on Monday when Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the BJP was “committed to the agenda of the alliance”. Mehbooba then received a phone call, inviting her to a “one-to-one” with the Prime Minister, said sources. They added that Governor N N Vohra’s reports to the Centre regarding the ramifications of such a political impasse may have also pushed the two parties forward. Sources said that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who was very close to former CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, whose death in January led to the current impasse, also helped to get the talks back on track.

Asked about what transpired during the meeting between Mehbooba and Modi, a PDP leader said that “once the Prime Minister gave his word, there was nothing to discuss”. Asked if the Prime Minister offered any specific assurances, the leader said, “We won’t talk about that because even if that was the case, why would we embarrass our partners? We are completely satisfied”.

Mehbooba is now expected to head to Srinagar on Wednesday and convene a legislative party meeting in which she is expected to be elected as leader. The next step, sources reveal, will be government formation.

But while Mehbooba is all set to take over, the political situation that awaits her is more fragile than on January 7 when the leadership mantle passed on to her. She had since raised serious questions about her party’s ten-month-long alliance with BJP and sought tangible assurances from the Centre to fulfill the promises in the agenda for alliance. She had also made it clear that she would not aspire for power just “for the heck of it”.

On January 31, she said: “The alliance with BJP is unpopular. I won’t mind walking alone if I feel the continuance of alliance with the BJP can’t achieve the political and developmental commitments outlined in the agenda of alliance. Going with the BJP is like burning your fingers.”

On February 21, Mehbooba told a party convention: “The CM’s chair…is worth it only if we feel that by sitting on it we can fulfill the dream of Mufti sahib…. you get comfort, if there is peace… and if Jammu and Kashmir becomes a bridge between India and Pakistan.”

And on March 8, she said: “The vehicle runs on two tyres. If the government has to be formed there are some conditions, too, that have to be fulfilled by them.”

A PDP leader said, “Now, her challenge will be to answer the questions she raised in the last two-and-a-half months. She will have to explain what happened in the meeting that made her change her mind. But perhaps, this episode may come as a reality check for her, as well. After all, those of us in mainstream electoral politics in Kashmir know that a lot is dependent on Delhi’s good wishes”.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App now

  1. I
    IML sood
    Mar 23, 2016 at 4:21 am
    It was clear even earlier also that heart burning is for those who wanted confusion,unrest and disturbance to blame present set up.Hust wait lot of criticism wifi be heard from NC,Cong.and disappointed leaders who wanted to fish in uncertain condition.They are beast of prey who waits only for opportunity to suit them.
    Reply
    1. I
      IML sood
      Mar 22, 2016 at 6:39 am
      Only worry will be for destructive minds who never want peace and calm in valley.They are watching if two divergent view can find meeting grounds what would happen to such elements who are always against the progress of this country.If they come to some understanding where they will go to hide their blackened faces.
      Reply
      1. S
        Satendra kumar
        Mar 22, 2016 at 9:55 pm
        Mehmooba Mufti as JammuandKashmirChief Minister a welcoming gesture for people of the state.
        Reply
        1. M
          Mani
          Mar 22, 2016 at 6:36 pm
          But She cannot be trusted.
          Reply
          1. M
            MyTake
            Mar 22, 2016 at 7:53 am
            Get back to work and don't do politicking if you are sincere!
            Reply
            1. T
              TIHAEwale
              Mar 22, 2016 at 6:02 am
              So only on Thursday we will get to know whether Amit and Feku56 makes PDP chief dance to their tune or they dance to Mehbooba
              Reply
              1. I
                imtiyaz
                Mar 22, 2016 at 8:23 am
                U seem to be the only intelligent person in india.......
                Reply
                1. A
                  astro
                  Mar 22, 2016 at 7:23 pm
                  क्या आप किसी से प्यार करते है पर वो आपसे नही करती या नाराज़ हो गयी है ,खोया प्यार शादीशुदा हो या तलाक शुदा ,माँ बाप का शादी के खिलाफ होना ,पति पत्नी अनबन ,सौतन छुटकारा ,अपने boss या पडोसी फंसा हुआ पैसा ,तलाक ,विदेश मे काम की परेशानी ,चाये आप विदेश मे हो या देश मे घर बैठे इन समस्यायों का समाधान CALL OR WHATSAPP 919812052465 direct call me from anywhere in world i will solve your problam 101 %
                  Reply
                  1. A
                    astro
                    Mar 22, 2016 at 7:23 pm
                    क्या आप किसी से प्यार करते है पर वो आपसे नही करती या नाराज़ हो गयी है ,खोया प्यार शादीशुदा हो या तलाक शुदा ,माँ बाप का शादी के खिलाफ होना ,पति पत्नी अनबन ,सौतन छुटकारा ,अपने boss या पडोसी फंसा हुआ पैसा ,तलाक ,विदेश मे काम की परेशानी ,चाये आप विदेश मे हो या देश मे घर बैठे इन समस्यायों का समाधान CALL OR WHATSAPP 919812052465 direct call me from anywhere in world i will solve your problam 101 %
                    Reply
                    1. I
                      i
                      Mar 22, 2016 at 4:48 pm
                      Ms Mufti, with all due respect, we don't need any bridge with stan.. fact we would prefer that there was an ocean instead of stan.
                      Reply
                      1. J
                        Jemma Thomas
                        Mar 22, 2016 at 7:26 am
                        ADHD kids are seeking positions in places like JandK. I am not sure how far BJP wants to stoop these terrorists. dissolve the parliament and hand it over to special administrative officer. Bring in a very promising and upcoming military personal with proven track record and not more than 40 to 45 years. Till conditions suitable for democracy , let the state be handled by security forces and see the difference. When these dogs are desperate then let us think about democracy. Not a paisa on development and spend the entire state budget on demoralizing terrorists to an extent. They will have to walk around like zombies. Then let us talk about democracy. Thank less dogs will never get anything better than this.
                        Reply
                        1. J
                          Jeslin Patricya
                          Mar 23, 2016 at 2:39 am
                          lol
                          Reply
                          1. K
                            kamath Ramesh
                            Mar 22, 2016 at 9:48 am
                            Good sense prevail and in the interest of Kashmir people govt must be formed to give good governance and devp of the state. If govt is not formed Mehbooba is the loser for her hard line as some section of people would doubt voting her if election is held immediately. Though BJP may not gain in seats in valley but can surely pull out more vote share
                            Reply
                            1. K
                              Kay
                              Mar 22, 2016 at 11:45 pm
                              Hon Mufti saheb was honest and genius. Mehbooba ji be like him, work like him and treat party members and MPs and State legislators and party workers as one team. Otherwise you are heading to deep exit.
                              Reply
                              1. N
                                narayan
                                Mar 22, 2016 at 9:29 am
                                both's ideologies are mismatching.
                                Reply
                                1. I
                                  indian
                                  Mar 22, 2016 at 8:05 pm
                                  PM Modi,perceptive,pragmatic and progressive,is taking India to new heights from the depths of dynastic per and it's insatiable greed,impoverishing the mes and endangering the frontiers. India needs Modi for at least another two terms.
                                  Reply
                                  1. P
                                    Parth Garg
                                    Mar 22, 2016 at 8:22 am
                                    Very positive? Meaning fruitless? This lady needs counselling.
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      R.K.RAINA
                                      Mar 22, 2016 at 12:08 pm
                                      Madam Mufti cannot sit in two boats . She needs to be sincere in her heart to be a true patriotic / Indian and work w heartedly work for the betterment of people of J and K irrespective of caste , creed , religion , region. She wants to please separatists also who have their personal interests and run the Govt. also which is not possible because a person cannot shield truth for a longer time.
                                      Reply
                                      1. R
                                        Ravi Ranjan
                                        Mar 23, 2016 at 2:22 am
                                        Mehbooba's oly problem was that she wanted to be seen as equal to Modi .A meeting with PM has satisfied her ego.
                                        Reply
                                        1. A
                                          autonomous
                                          Mar 22, 2016 at 2:39 pm
                                          Omar abdulah is best in governance comparing to her. She not capable to be CM.
                                          Reply
                                          1. P
                                            Patriot
                                            Mar 22, 2016 at 5:17 pm
                                            We Ms Mufti to not form government with hatemonger. They are killer of Muslims throughout the country. Supporting means acknowledging the fairness. Sacrifice the government for the cause of muslims and dont form hatemonger government. If it is done, then first rule to declare legal cow slaughter, and conversion to islam and 30% reservations.
                                            Reply
                                            1. Load More Comments