Government Formation: When BJP says ‘anything is possible,’ what does that mean?

  • Javaid Malik
  • Publish Date: Jul 3 2018 8:13PM
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  • Updated Date: Jul 3 2018 8:13PM
Government Formation: When BJP says ‘anything is possible,’ what does that mean?

“Anything is possible and anything can happen,” the former Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta has told the Kashmir Ink.

Two weeks after the fall of the Peoples Democratic Party-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir, the latter is keeping hopes alive about the formation of a new government.

Wednesday’s meeting by Ram Madhav with some political leaders in Srinagar has fuelled speculations that a surprise may be in store.

Madhav met BJP legislators Ravindra Raina, Sat Sharma, Sunil Sharma and Kavinder Gupta Wednesday afternoon in Srinagar. Insiders say they discussed cobbling together legislators from different parties to form a government.

“With J&K former ministers of BJP and PC in Srinagar discussing about the roadmap for the state,” tweeted Madhav along with the photo.

“I believe there is a ray of hope alive. Assembly has not been dissolved and it’s still under suspended animation,” Gupta, who remained in the office just for 50 days, told the Kashmir Ink.

Soon after the BJP withdrew from the government, NC Vice-President Omar Abdullah had expressed apprehensions that BJP may indulge in horse trading and asked the PDP to recall how NC had offered unconditional support to PDP in 2015 to enter into a grand alliance to keep the BJP at bay. He is the one who from day one has been emphasizing that Assembly should be dissolved.

Some leaders in the opposition National Conference are of the opinion that BJP and PDP were staging a drama and would be together again after going all-out against the militants and the separatist leaders in Kashmir. 

“Both the parties have taken a break just to intensify the anti-militancy operations in Kashmir and to kill more civilians. They are trying to deceive people by staging the break-up drama. It’s a deception,” Ali Muhammad Sagar, General Secretary of the National Conference told the Kashmir Ink.  

Sagar toed the line of his boss Omar Abdullah, who recently termed the PDP-BJP break-up as a “fixed-match.”  

“It’s strange that after sharing power for three years and ruining Jammu and Kashmir, one party (PDP) is claiming that its pro-Kashmir and other party (BJP) is stating that its pro-Jammu,” Sagar said.

He said that both the parties had joined hands for the sake of power and chair. “PDP knows that it has become irrelevant and it has only got BJP to fall back upon. As soon as they complete their mission the PDP-BJP coalition will be back,” Sagar claimed.

The NC leader said that PDP has lost the political turf and knows it very well that if fresh elections are held it would face a befitting defeat. “A few PDP leaders are in touch with the NC leadership and want to join us but we have not taken any decision yet,” he added.    

Sagar maintained that NC won’t join hands with PDP and there is no possibility about his party extending support to any party to form the government in the state. “NC wants assembly to be dissolved,” he added.

The PDP leaders seem dejected and ditched.

Waheed Para, considered to be a close aide of the former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, says: “There is no possibility about PDP joining hands with the BJP again. I don’t see government being formed again in near future,” he said.

He said that PDP had to pay the price for its desire for peace and reconciliation. “We tried to live up to the expectations of the people which annoyed a few hawks in the BJP. By joining hands with BJP late Mufti sahib had tried to unite Jammu and Kashmir regions and our President (Mehbooba Mufti) followed his footsteps.” 

Para, who is the PDP youth president, had organized an event at Indoor Stadium in Srinagar recently to welcome the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to the Valley. The presence of students and sports persons in the stadium had reportedly impressed Singh, who while addressing a news conference in Srinagar stated that holding sports activities across length and breadth of Kashmir could help in resolving the Kashmir problem.     

Singh’s Kashmir visit just before Eid-ul-Fitr had created an impression that Government of India would extend the unilateral ceasefire announced by it in the holy month of Ramadhan. Had Delhi extended the truce against militants in J&K it would have proved to be a shot in the arm for the PDP. But it was not to be.

Kavinder Gupta, who attended the all party meeting in Srinagar ahead of the commencement of Ramadhan, claimed that no consensus was build in the meeting to ask the Government of India to announce ceasefire in J&K. “The idea of asking New Delhi to announce the ceasefire was floated by Er. Rashid (Independent MLA from Langate). His idea was not even discussed in the all party meeting. Soon after the meet ended the then Chief Minister (Mehbooba Mufti) told reporters that all political parties want Centre to announce truce,” Gupta said.

He said that PDP should stop blaming BJP for the fall of the government. Gupta claimed that PDP announced amnesty for over 10,000 “stone-pelters” in Kashmir without taking BJP on board. “PDP’s soft approach towards militants and separatists was proving dangerous for national interest,” said Gupta.

He even alleged that PDP tried to sabotage the AIIMS project for Jammu region. “Revenue authorities did not give clearance despite our top leaders and ministers taking up the issue with the Chief Minister on many occasions. PDP not allowing development of Jammu region was a big issue,” he said.  

Gupta claimed that after Shujaat Bukhari, Chief Editor of Rising Kashmir, was assassinated in broad day light just outside his office at Press Enclave in Srinagar, PDP leaders asked police not to identify the killers. “PDP was dictating terms and we couldn’t take it anymore, that’s why we pulled out,” the BJP leader said. 

The senior leader of Peoples Democratic Party Dr Mehboob Beg said that there was no possibility about election being held in Jammu and Kashmir in the near future as situation is not conducive. “Nor do I see PDP and BJP joining hands again. We don’t know when next election will be held. I don’t think that J&K is likely to get an elected government in near future,” he said.

Beg claimed that Mehbooba Mufti during her short stint as Chief Minister worked very hard to safeguard the interests of her people. “She wanted New Delhi to shun muscular policy and allow people to live in peace. She didn’t dance to the tunes of people sitting in Delhi and worked independently,” he added.

Beg dismissed the allegations leveled by the BJP that Jammu and Ladakh regions were ignored. “BJP is trying to beat round the bush by spreading canards just for the sake of vote bank politics,” Beg added.  

BJP’s National General Secretary Anil Jain, while commenting on the widely held perception that the BJP pulled out of the coalition in J&K in order to win Parliament elections next year, recently stated that even if it is so, there is nothing wrong in it as the decision was taken in the larger interest of the people. 

(Javaid Malik is Senior Editor Greater Kashmir and can be reached at malikjavaid123@gmail.com)