A tight hug between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and People's Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Friday capped the two-month-long negotiations over formation of a coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir.
Both sides claimed that it was a win-win situation for each of them and that none compromised on their respective core agenda.
But that will be known only on Sunday when the coalition agenda — the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) — is unveiled. Talks between the two parties had centered on areas where they ideologically disagreed: Article 370, which accords J-K a special status, and the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act that gives overriding powers to security forces.
Sayeed was keen on an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after last year’s assembly elections threw up a hung verdict. He made his intentions known by rejecting outright the unconditional offers of support from the Congress and the National Conference (NC).
Sayeed’s close aides say he had a bitter past experience with the Congress and an alliance with the NC was out of question.
The former J-K chief minister who has the distinction of being the first and till now the only Muslim home minister of the country wanted an alliance with the BJP given that the saffron party had swept the Jammu region, winning 25 seats while majority of his party’s 28 seats came from the Kashmir Valley.
Perhaps he wanted to respect that mandate. That is the reason why Sayeed has been repeatedly stating that the alliance with the BJP was to win hearts and minds of the people of the state.
“The PM has a vision and I have a dream of making J-K an island of peace,” Sayeed added.
The firming of a power sharing alliance between two diametrically opposite ideologies — Sayeed called the alliance as coming together of North Pole and South Pole — was a tough task for leaders of both the parties.
It would be equally challenging for them to keep it going for a full six-year term.