Mehbooba Mufti Meets Top PDP Leaders To 'Review' Alliance
Earlier Days, Mehbooba Muft with BJP’s Amit Shah
SRINAGAR: With the political crisis deepening in Jammu and Kashmir, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti, is meeting her top party leaders today to discuss the future of their alliance with the BJP.
The meeting, first of its kind after the death of the party patron, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, has been convened at the Fairview residence of Muftis on Gupkar here by Mehbooba, who will take the final call on continuing the alliance with the BJP.
Senior PDP leaders and Lok Sabha MPs, Muzaffar Hussain Baig and Tariq Hamid Karra, all former ministers in Sayeed's cabinet, two general secretaries and political advisor to PDP President, Peerzada Mansoor, will be attending the meeting which will start at 2 PM.
"We will review the implementation of the 'agenda of the alliance' over the last ten months. Mehboobaji will hear the opinions of the leaders and take final call on the future of the alliance,” a senior PDP leader said.
The Governor’s rule was promulgated in Jammu and Kashmir following the death of Sayeed on January 7 which also effectively ended the PDP-BJP coalition stitched between the two parties in the March of last year.
The two parties had chalked out the “Agenda of the Alliance”, an ambitious document with political and developmental components which was meant to provide them a roadmap for governing the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
However, the ideological differences between the two parties over contentious issues like Article 370 and beef ban often resulted in embarrassing confrontation between their leaders, sparking public uproar against the PDP in Kashmir Valley where the party has a majority voter base.
The delay in announcing the financial package for the flood-hit state coupled with the denial of the Centre to return two key power projects, which is part of the ‘Agenda of the Alliance’, didn’t go down well with the PDP, the single largest party in the state legislature.
The BJP-led Centre's "backtracking" on alliance agenda also reflected poorly on the image of Sayeed, who had taken a huge political risk by shaking hands with the Hindu right-wing party.
The tipping point of the alliance came in the run up to Sayeed’s death at AIIMS where none of the senior BJP leaders, except union home minister Rajnath Singh, visited the ailing chief minister who was admitted for nearly a fortnight before passing away on January 7.
“The meeting of (BJP’s National General Secretary) Ram Madhav where he raised the issue of government formation, a day after Mufti sahib’s death, was taken very unkindly by Mehboobaji. She scoffed him for discussing politics at the time of her great tragedy which also created tensions in the alliance,” the PDP leader said.
Since then, there has been no word on the future of the alliance with Mehbooba keeping her cards close to chest. Senior PDP leader and a close aide of Mehbooba’s Naeem Akhtar, saidon Friday that the party will “review” the implementation of the alliance agenda before making any decision on government formation.
Meanwhile, there are reports that the BJP has also called a meeting of the party leaders and legislators in Jammu today where the issue of government formation is likely to be discussed.