PDP-BJP rift in J&K widens, govt formation hopes dim
The standoff between BJP and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has failed to ease as both the allies have refused to soften their stand on government formation. With BJP saying that conditions cannot be the basis for government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, PDP retorted that it had not set any new terms and was insisting only on implementation of issues agreed upon in the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ between the two parties.
“PDP has not set any new demands but only reiterated the implementation of ‘Agenda of Alliance’ as was earlier agreed with BJP,” it tweeted.
The PDP reaction came soon after BJP’s pointsman Ram Madhav went on record to say that the stalemate that existed earlier continued and that “conditions cannot be the basis for government formation.” This is the first time that Madhav, the architect of the alliance which led to the formation of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed government in the state, has expressed angst in public.
PDP, with 27 MLAs in the 87-member Assembly, ran a coalition government with 25-member BJP for 10 months before the sudden demise of then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. The state is now under Governor’s Rule since January 8.
The PDP also uploaded a link to the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ document that was “mutually agreed between J&K PDP and BJP last year”. A PDP leader, on condition of anonymity told the agencies said that all the issues raised by party president Mehbooba Mufti were part of the ‘Agenda of Alliance’.
The leader said Mehbooba wanted assurances from the Centre on dialogue with all stakeholders in the state including the separatists and revocation of AFSPA, which had been agreed to by the two parties. “The earlier NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee had initiated a dialogue process with all political groups, including the Hurriyat Conference, in the spirit of Insaaniyat, Kashmiriyat aur Jamhooriyat.
“Following the same principles, 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. “This dialogue will seek to build a broad based consensus on resolution of all outstanding issues of J&K,” reads the document agreed between the two parties last year.
On revocation of the AFSPA, the agenda of alliance reads: “While both parties have historically held a different view on the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and the need for it in the State at present, as part of the agenda for governance of this alliance, the coalition government will examine the need for de-notifying disturbed areas.
“This, as a consequence, would enable the Union Government to take a final view on the continuation of AFSPA in these areas”. The PDP leader said, on the development front, return of power projects to the state and inclusion of both Srinagar and Jammu in the ‘Smart Cities’ was also part of the document.