PDP Plays Hard Ball, Prepared for Fresh Polls
Mehbooba Mufti after the poll victory (file picture)
SRINAGAR: The People's Democratic Party will not hesitate in recommending dissolution of the state assembly to the Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra if the BJP-led Centre doesn't give assurances on fulfilling the alliance agenda "in toto", a senior party leader said.
The PDP leader, a close aide of the former J&K chief minister and the PDP founder, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, said the Hindu right-wing party, over the last ten months of the coalition government, "backtracked" on some of the key components of the alliance agenda, an ambitious roadmap chalked out after over two months of intense negotiations between the two parties last year.
"For our party, it ('Agenda of the Alliance') is a sacred document", the PDP leader, who was a cabinet minister in the previous PDP-BJP coalition government, told The Citizen. "As alliance partners, we are equally obliged to deliver on our promises".
Among a slew of political and economic measures that the PDP-BJP coalition had promised to initiate after assuming office, the "Agenda of the Alliance" talks about wresting back control of two power projects presently under the control of the Centre-owned NHPC.
Jammu and Kashmir suffers an acute shortage of electricity throughout the year, one of the main reasons for industrial backwardness of the state; the other being violence. While the state is able to generate around 1200 MWs from three power projects, it still falls short of 1800 MW plus requirement, which hikes by 10 percent every year, forcing the state government to spend billions in purchasing power generated from the NHPC-owned power projects in J&K.
In the "Agenda of the Alliance", the two parties had promised to "explore modalities for transfer of Dulhasti and Uri hydro power projects to J&K as suggested by the Rangarajan Committee Report and the Round Table reports" which was turned down by the union power minister Piyush Goyal last year when the issue was raised by the then power minister and senior BJP leader, Dr Nirmal Singh.
"While there has been progress on some of the political components in the alliance agenda, like the resumption of bilateral talks between India and Pakistan, the issue of economic empowerment of J&K has been left largely unaddressed by the BJP," the PDP leader said.
He said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the mandate of the people of India to make a positive change in Jammu and Kashmir, "We will not hesitate to recommend dissolution of the assembly to the Governor if the Centre doesn't give assurances on fulfilling the alliance agenda in toto," the PDP leader said.