Will never compromise on Article 370: PDP

Srinagar: Stating that there was no offer made by the National Conference (NC) over the formation of the new government in J&K, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Saturday said it is weighing all options without compromising on its ‘principle stand’.

According to the KNS correspondent, PDP chief spokesman Naeem Akhtar said party’ stand on Article 370 and state’s unique status is non-negotiable and the party wants to initiate a process for the resolution of Kashmir issue at the earliest. “As far as the Article 370 is concerned, it is non- negotiable. We have promised people to repeal AFSPA besides paving ways for the resolution of Kashmir issue,” he said.

Akhtar maintained that if NC offers its support to PDP for the formation of the government, the party for sure would discuss and deliberate over the issue. “So far, no offer of this nature has been made to us. Once NC makes this offer, we will discuss it as we are discussing other options that are available with us,” he said.

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The PDP chief spokesman added that so far no talks have been held over the issue of the rotational chief minister as the negotiations have not reached that far. “All options are being discussed and deliberated on merit and in no way the PDP would compromise on its principle stand including AFSPA repeal, guarding of Article 370 and creating atmosphere for the peaceful resolution of Kashmir,” Akhtar said.

The PDP, that won 28 seats this time five from Srinagar, was part of a coalition that ruled the state between 2002 and 2008. Poll pundits suggest that the party is again likely to form the next government in coalition with other political groups and some independents.

People’s Democratic Party this time has won 28 seats and has gained seven seats as co0mpared to the last elections. BJP has gained 14 seats this time as earlier that party had 11 members in the assembly.

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On the other side, NC has lost 15 seats and most of them from the summer capital Srinagar. Earlier the party had 28 members but this time the results have squeezed it to mere 15. The state Congress has lost five seats this time as the party this time has 12 seats in its kitty.

Both the BJP and the PDP benefited from widespread public discontent over the ruling National Conference party’s handling of devastating September floods that killed more than 200 people in Kashmir.