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Sayeed meets Modi, to take oath as Kashmir CM Sunday 

New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) PDP patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of his swearing-in Sunday as Jammu and Kashmir chief minister heading a government which, for the first time in the state’s history, will include the BJP. Modi is slated to attend the “historic” ceremony.

Sayeed’s meeting with Modi came about following successful conclusion of nearly two months of negotiations between their parties, which finished as the top two in the state assembly polls held November-December last year.

The two parties have had varied viewpoint on some crucial issues concerning the border state including article 370 of the constitution and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFPSA).

“I met the prime minister today (Friday), and this is an opportunity for both of us to work together,” Sayeed told journalists after the meeting held at the prime minister’s official residence.

The Peoples Democratic Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party are expected to declare their common minimum programme for governance Sunday.

BJP leaders said here that half of expected 24 ministers in the new cabinet, including a deputy chief minister, will be from the party.

The assembly election to the 87-member assembly threw a fractured verdict with PDP emerging as the single largest party with 28 seats followed by 25 of the BJP.

Sayeed, 79, a former chief minister, told the media that PDP was the choice of people in Kashmir and BJP in Jammu and the two parties decided that they should give a government which brings all-round development to all regions of the state.

To a query, he said it was too early to say if PDP will join the National Democratic Alliance government.

Sayeed said he and Modi discussed various issues regarding the state but refused to divulge the portfolios the two parties were likely to keep.

“All of them will be made public on the day of the swearing in ceremony. There have been issues in Jammu and Kashmir and we have to build up a good government in the state,” he said.

Sayeed said the prime minister underlined the need to bring peace in the troubled state. “He has a dream of making it an island of peace,” he said, adding he had told Modi that it was important to make Pakistan a part of the peace building process in Jammu and Kashmir.

Jitendra Singh, the minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office, said it was beauty of democracy that two parties with differences of views on some issues had joined hands to provide a stable government.

“There was no better alternative to respect the mandate of the people. That the two parties have agreed to disagree on certain issues is also a big thing,” Jitendra Singh, who is am MP from the state, told IANS.

He said that Modi accepted the invitation to attend the swearing-in ceremony.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu told IANS that BJP joining the government in Jammu and Kashmir was a “historic occasion.”



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