[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he political uncertainty triggered by the demise of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed may end soon with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) indicating on Tuesday that it would not go back on the understanding that Mufti had sealed with the BJP for forming a coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir.
Ruling out some reports that his party might join hands with the Congress, PDP spokesman Mehboob Baig told reporters in Srinagar that, “These are baseless speculations. The PDP and the BJP will come together to form the government. We have to honour of our leader,” said Baig.
Baig’s remarks showed that the PDP cannot go back on Mufti’s political line under the leadership of his daughter Mehbooba Mufti soon after his death.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]fter passing away of Mufti, his daughter of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti is the obvious choice to step in the shoes of his illustrious father and takeover of as chief minister of the state. A section of the PDP leaders are opposed to continuing the alliance with the BJP, fearing it could cost them heavily in the next election in the valley. But Mehnbooba’s options are limited. The PDP has 27 MLA, the Congress 12 and independent four. Even if they come together, they would fall short of the halfway mark of 44. Under the circumstances, Mehbooba will have to shake hands with the BJP if she wants to take oath as the first woman Chief Minister of the state.
“There are no hiccups. The political process for government formation will start after the week long official mourning period ends on Wednesday,” said another senior PDP leader. Mufti had died in Delhi of illness on January 7.
The leader admitted there were several issues that the two parties will need to freshly look at, but he denied there was any roadblock that cannot be removed. “Of course, there are issues. We are two very different parties and we have come together to provide stability to the state. It does not mean we will agree on everything under the sun,” he said.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he BJP has also little option but to back Mehbooba’s claim to the post of chief minister. Senior BJP leaders claimed they had not set any preconditions for backing Mehbooba. He said the party will send its letter of support to the state Governor once the PDP starts the process of government formation.
While a major section of the PDP is willing to carry out the political path charted by Mufti, a senior PDP Member of Parliament has asked the leadership to join hands with the Congress. Senior party leader and Member of Parliament, Tariq Hameed Qarra advocated the need to bring together “secular” forces under umbrella and suggested the PDP should explore the possibility fop forming government with the help of Congress and independent MLAs.
“My considered opinion is that she (Mehbooba) should open up the ways of talking to Congress. Congress is a secular party. And all the secular forces should unite and rise above their political positions to form an alliance with PDP. It will be a secular government. PDP has lost its support by tying up with a communal party”, he said.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]“I[/dropcap] have been saying from the last nine months that RSS-BJP is not acceptable to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Since 1952, RSS and BJP have a hidden agenda in Kashmir”, he claimed.
“What RSS could not achieve in the last six decades, they have achieved that in the last six months. And not only has it damaged Kashmir, but also Peoples Democratic Party in Kashmir”, Qarra told a news agency.
However, few leaders in the PDP openly back Qarra, fearing breaking the ties with the BJP will usher in political uncertainty and might lead to imposition of the President’s rule in the state.
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