Mehbooba To Hold PDP Meet To 'Review' Alliance
The Mufti siblings
SRINAGAR: With the political crisis deepening in Jammu and Kashmir, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the single largest party in the state legislature, has called a meeting of its leaders on January 31 where the issue of continuing the alliance with the BJP is likely to come up for discussion.
The meeting, convened by the PDP president Mehbooba Mufti at her Fairview residence in Srinagar, will be attended by district and zonal heads of the party along with senior leaders who will evolve a "roadmap" for the party following the death of its founder, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
"All the leaders and grassroots functionaries will attend the meeting and a roadmap will be evolved for the party in absence of Mufti sahib. The party president will also take feedback on continuing the alliance with the BJP," a senior PDP leader, who didn't want to be named, said.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir remains under Governor's rule with the former PDP-BJP coalition government, which had a ten-month stint of highly unpopular rule, ceasing to exist following Sayeed's death at AIIMS on January 7.
Although Sayeed's daughter, Mehbooba Mufti, who attended the Republic Day celebrations in Srinagar on Tuesday, was to take over reins of the state, her father's bitter experience with the BJP at the fag end of his political career along with the grief of his death, delayed the government formation.
While the PDP with 28 seats has dropped enough hints of continuing the alliance with the BJP, which has 25 seats in the House of 87, the party has sought "assurances" from the Hindu right-wingers on respecting the "Agenda of the Alliance".
The alliance agenda, an ambitious document with political and developmental components, was chalked out between the two parties in March last year after over two months of intense negotiations.
However, the backtracking by the BJP-led Centre on the promise of returning of power projects and protecting the special status of the state, both mentioned in the alliance agenda, has led to a rethink in the PDP about continuing the alliance.
"For us, the 'Agenda of the Alliance' is a sacred document. We’re analysing the progress made on it over the last ten months and the ways to move ahead on it," senior PDP leader, Naeem Akhtar, said.
The meeting will be third such event at Fairview following Sayeed's death whose son, Tassaduq Mufti, now in Mumbai to finish a project left mid-way, is likely to play a "bigger role" in the party and “support his sister to carry their father’s mission forward”. In the first meeting, Mehbooba, the Lok Sabha MP from Anantnag constituency in south Kashmir, was authorised to take the final call on continuing the alliance with the BJP.