Minister for public health engineering, flood control and irrigation Sukhnanadan Kumar Chaudhary has said chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed does not holds the final say in the governance and cannot take decisions in isolation without taking alliance partner the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in loop.
The minister said, “It’s not the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that runs the government, but the BJP holds the key to provide balanced governance benefitting all the three regions of the state.”
Sharing his experience as a cabinet minister with Hindustan Times, Sukhnandan said he found a great scope to reach out to the people, listen to their demands and grievances and putting a system into place for their betterment.
The minister also denied any impediments coming in the way of government functioning in conjunction with the PDP. Following are the excerpts:
HT: It is said that Mufti and his party have seized the power from the BJP in the state as many BJP ministers and MLAs are novice and lack experience.
Sukhnandan: It’s entirely wrong perception, rather it is vice-versa —PDP or Mufti cannot do anything on their own. It was Prime Minister Narender Modi’s vision that helped the formation of the PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir. CM Mufti has good coordination with the PM on all issues.
You and most of your colleagues are first-timers in the government. How do you see the recently-concluded budget session?
While on the treasury bench, we used to raise issues of public importance and even staged strong protests inside the House as well as on the roads. However, on the government benches, things are different as the opposition, most of the time, raises issues on which even they failed to deliver while in government for 60 years.
How Kashmiris are reacting to the BJP’s role in the governance?
They are fed up with false and hollow promises. They are now watching our works and responding overwhelmingly. I toured far-off areas of the flood-hit Kashmir to learn about the people’s problems for their solution. Their support has been overwhelming.
How does the BJP see challenges posed by separatists and allied organisations in the Valley against the the government?
Our only agenda is equitable development of all regions of the state and we are working enthusiastically. Separatists or others would be left with no option but to embrace our ideology of development, as they know that they have lost the ground in the Valley.
Since your party has been given a mandate to rule by the people of Jammu, how will you fulfil their aspirations?
The PM has already hinted towards all-round development. Jammu will not be let down now. Not a single case of discrimination will come up on any front.