NEW DELHI: Independent MLA from Kupwara, Engineer Rashid has been flirting with the BJP whose serious advances have persuaded him to enter into ‘negotiations’ despite his supposedly serious reservations about the party earlier.

In October 2014, BJP National Spokesperson Ram Madhav met Engineer Rashid to discuss a pre poll alliance in a determined bid to get the requisite majority to form the “first nationalist” government in the state. At that time Rashid had refused to talk but within days responded more positively, saying that he was willing to support the BJP if they worked to end “the miseries of Kashmiris.”

“I am ready to support whoever takes Kashmiris out of the miseries, I am ready to talk to even Lashkar, Jihad Council, Shiv Sena or RSS as I want peace in Kashmir” Rashid told The Citizen over the phone.

While confirming the meeting with BJP spokesperson, Rashid said that he has put forth his points and “if they are ready to accept my terms, then I will support them.”

“I have put forth my terms to Ram Madhav during the meeting, I told him that we want peace at the border and India should stop war mongering with Pakistan, as it creates problems for us; there should be seriousness in settling the K-dispute and the government should talk to the Kashmiris directly to resolve the crises as they did in Nagaland and Punjab,” he said.

He further said that Ram had not accepted the points, and had told him that this was not possible. However, the doors have not yet closed between the two.

A sign of the BJP’s determination to form the government in Jammu and Kashmir is reflected in this dialogue with Rashid who has been a known BJP-baiter in the Valley, besides taking positions in sharp contrast to the BJP/RSS position on issues. For instance in September 2011, Rashid came under the spotlights by bringing in the controversial “Save Afzal Guru” resolution in the J&K Legislative On February 9, 2014, Engineer Rashid along with his supporters rallied in Srinagar on the first death anniversary of Afzal Guru to demand that his body be brought back from Delhi to Kashmir.

On June 06, 2014 Sheikh Abdul Rashid aka Engineer Rashid stoked another row by observing the 'National Day of Kashmir' by unfurling the state flag in the heart of Srinagar.

Next day the BJP demanded action against the MLA. "The clock cannot be turned back. We demand that a case should be registered against Engineer Rashid for organising a controversial event", said Vibodh Gupta, state vice-president of BJP. Today both sides are in talks.