Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to be new Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister

The development came as the PDP and BJP reached an agreement over several contentious issues, including the Armed Forces Special Powers Act

Jammu: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed will be the new chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir two months after the assembly elections, as his party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) finally arrived at an agreement on forming an alliance government in the state, sources close to the PDP patron said.

Mufti Mohammad Sayeed
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. File Pic

“Yes, the main agreement has been reached on the draft of the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) on contentious issues like article 370, Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and the plight of West Pakistan refugees,” a party source said.

“It has been agreed that without any written reference to it, both the parties would respect the wishes of the people of the state in consonance with the Constitution of the country with regard to article 370,” the source added.

The PDP has 28 legislators while the BJP has 25.

Sayeed returned to the winter capital Jammu on Friday after spending a week in Mumbai. As per the agreement, he will be the chief minister for the full six-year term.

A PDP insider, who was engaged with the BJP in the dialogue process on government formation on behalf of his party, said that instead of accepting the demand that the AFSPA should be revoked from the entire state within a year,

it has now been agreed by the two parties that a committee would be formed which would recommend gradual, but timely, revocation of the Act from areas in the state. Sources in the BJP said, “The PDP has agreed to the BJP’s demand that the CMP should accept that the problems faced by West Pakistan refugees should not be politicised, but treated as a humanitarian issue.”

“The nuts-and-bolts job has been completed. All that now remains is an announcement on the agreement between the two which could be made within the next two-three days,” a source said.

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