Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Friday made a veiled attack on the Centre’s alleged Hindutva propagandist agenda, saying the alliance in Jammu and Kashmir could break if the BJP did not discard its communal politics.
Mufti’s comments came ahead of a crucial PDP legislature party meeting on Monday to take a call on its alliance with the BJP amid an ongoing uncertainty over government formation in the state.
The state is under President’s rule since January 8, a day after the death of then chief minister and Mehbooba’s father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who headed a coalition between the ideologically opposite parties.
“If the Central government for a moment leaves the politics of what is happening in UP or Bihar and thinks what is good for the state it can again become an abode of peace. Unless (this happens), things will not work (out) in this manner,” she said in Jammu during a party function.
Mufti was apparently referring to Union minister Ram Shankar Katheria’s alleged inflammatory remarks against Muslims a few days ago in Agra.
This is not the first time, the PDP chief is critical of some BJP leaders’ overt Hindutva agenda. Following the BJP’s drubbing in Bihar last year, she had said the election results had done a “great job” to fringe elements “misusing” the name of Hinduism.
The PDP chief has taken a harsh stand in continuing the alliance and asked the BJP-led central government for confidence-building measures before forming the government.
The PDP is said to be upset with the Narendra Modi government over a delay in initiating steps for withdrawal of the controversial AFSPA from certain parts of the state and the Centre’s Rs 80,000-crore financial package, dubbed by some as an “eyewash and mere jugglery of figures”.
“I am not an adamant person…If I feel they (Centre) have feelings in their heart to fill colours in the roadmap which we have sketched for the welfare of the people of the state I don’t have any objections,” she said.
It is the first time the BJP has held the reins of power in the Muslim-majority state after the assembly polls in 2014 threw up a hung verdict.
A PDP leader said a majority of the legislators don’t want fresh elections at this juncture and have been pushing for an early end to the two-month-long deadlock.
One group of MLAs has apparently formed a “pressure group” to persuade Mehbooba Mufti to continue the alliance with the BJP.
However, another section wants the leadership to explore other options including a possible tie-up with the Congress, on the ground that the alliance with the BJP had not gone down well with the people.
The BJP has maintained that the two parties are bound by the agenda of alliance which is a “sacred” document and that the party is committed to implementing it in letter and spirit.