PDP Faces Flak From The Business Community
NEW DELHI: Pressure is mounting on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to pull out from the alliance it has with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Jammu and Kashmir, with the business and trade community in the Valley taking the lead.
In Srinagar the business fraternity came down hard on the PDP-BJP coalition government while rejecting the flood relief package at a press conference hosted by various trade bodies and civil society representatives on Wednesday afternoon.
“The PDP should pull out from the coalition on moral grounds,” said Mohammad Yasin Khan, President of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) and Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA).
Khan’s colleagues described the flood rehabilitation package as “peanuts” after a delay of over nine months.
The massive 2014 September floods caused devastation in many parts of the Kashmir valley, affecting private and commercial properties worth billions of rupees.
The Mufti Sayeed government is feeling the heat from all corners now.
Apart from the trade community and Kashmir’s civil society the opposition National Conference also attacked the PDP-BJP coalition government for its “failures to live up to the people’s expectations”.
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had submitted a proposal of INR 44,000 crore to New Delhi government as flood relief and rehabilitation package, but the BJP government announced a package (J&K flood rehabilitation) of INR 1667 crores only. Omar Abdullah, Member Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Beerwah, Budgam mocked at Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s government for failing to negotiate a better deal for the state by tweeting: “Khoda pahar nikla chooha!!!!!”
A prominent trade leader described the partnership between the PDP and BJP as a “marriage of compulsion” while the President of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) Sheikh Ashiq said the flood rehabilitations package was quite a “disaster” in itself.
“We are shocked and disappointed,” Ashiq further said while commenting on the flood package announced by the Government of India.
The business community leaders insisted that it was about time that the PDP seriously considered “divorcing the BJP” to restore party’s credibility among the masses.
Shakeel Qalandar, one of the members of the Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies, accused New Delhi of “step-motherly treatment” toward Kashmir.
Meanwhile, the PDP’s Member Parliament Tariq Hameed Karra also expressed his unhappiness over the flood relief package, saying that it was time to “rethink our alliance with the BJP if the GoI continues with its prejudiced approach toward Kashmiris.”
The much-hyped flood relief package, Karra said in a statement, is not only “grossly inadequate” but also speaks a lot of about GoI’s perceptible bias towards the people of Kashmir.