People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti has decided to stake claim to form a new government in Jammu & Kashmir, in alliance with the BJP. Since January 8, when her father and the then chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed passed away, Mehbooba had been virtually observing a vow of silence with the state placed under President’s Rule. Speculation had become rife that she was mulling a parting of ways with the BJP to safeguard the PDP’s political future in Kashmir valley where it is perceived to have been losing ground. Meanwhile, BJP tiol leaders in New Delhi seemed to adopt a more hardline ‘take it or leave it’ attitude in preparing to go alone. There was even talk of the Congress sending feelers to Mehbooba, which in turn put a question mark over Congress’ relations with erstwhile UPA alliance partner tiol Conference (NC). After much soul-searching, Mehbooba Mufti now professes to have come to the realization that her father had forged an alliance with the BJP for ‘a purpose beyond government formation’. Pointing out that J&K is not like other states, the PDP leader has asserted the need to address things politically, economically and socially. Hopefully, she would succeed in sticking to the ‘purpose’ Mufti Mohammad Sayeed saw in hitching up with the saffron party; likewise, it is high time the BJP realized that it can push its cause only so much in a composite state. With its Muslim majority Kashmir valley and some Shia domited districts, Hindu majority Jammu and Buddhist Ladakh, the frontier state desperately needs governce above rrow partisan interests. In a state where the concept of the Indian tion has to stand up to rival pressures of Pakistan and Chi, political parties will have to think out of the box and find ways to get along responsibly.
Government in J&K