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Mufti Mohammed Sayeed sworn-in as chief minister; BJP agrees on status quo on Article 370

In all, 13 MLAs including Sayeed from the PDP and 12 MLAs from BJP and Peoples Conference combine were sworn-in as ministers.
In all, 13 MLAs including Sayeed from the PDP and 12 MLAs from BJP and Peoples Conference combine were sworn-in as ministers.
JAMMU: The BJP has apparently given up its historic position on the law that grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir in its quest to be part of the state’s government. It has also agreed to a thorough review of all special laws including the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), engaging Pakistan and Kashmiri separatists and hasn’t got any assurance from coalition partner Peoples Democratic Party on granting state subject status to West Pakistan refugees.

The PDP that has been seeking a timeline for the withdrawal of AFSPA eventually settled at linking its revocation to the security situation in the Common Minimum Parogramme (CMP) that the partners unveiled.

Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed said finalisation of the deal took nearly two months because the two parties have different perceptions on issues linking to Kashmir and they had to find a common ground. "I would have waited, had it taken three more months," he added.

"While recognising the different positions and appreciating the perceptions BJP and PDP have on the constitutional status of J&K, considering the political and legislative realities the present position will be maintained on all the constitutional provisions pertaining to J&K, including the special status in the Constitution of India," the CMP reads, without mentioning Article 370.

The BJP’s stated position is that Article 370 should be repealed. But the party seems to have conceded more ground than the partner in the agenda of the ruling alliance as it seeks to expand its base here. However, according to media reports, BJP leader and Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said there was no change in the party’s stance on Article 370. The coalition’s political initiatives lay emphasis on normalising relationship with Pakistan. It wants improving and upgrading the confidence building measures across the Line of Control and open new routes between J&K and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. "…the coalition government will facilitate and help initiate a sustained and meaningful dialogue with all internal stakeholders, which will include all political groups irrespective of their ideological views and predilections," it reads. "This dialogue will seek to build a broad-based consensus on resolution of all outstanding issues of J&K."



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