Alliance partner Peoples Democratic Party welcomed on Thursday BJP chief Amit Shah’s comments that his party would not compromise on national interest and quit the J&K government if the Kashmir issue was not resolved.
PDP spokesman Firdous Tak said it was “a welcome step if national parties have realised the Kashmir issue needs to be resolved”, but refused to be drawn into suggestions that his party’s idea of a resolution could be different from its ideologically-divergent partner. “This is the first step … at least there is some consensus that the Kashmir issue needs to be resolved.,” he said.
The PDP statement was viewed as a move to check growing allegations against the government of pursuing a pro-separatist agenda. Shah’s remarks on Wednesday were seen against this backdrop. “The government has been formed only to solve the Kashmir issue … if a solution does not come about, nobody can stop our party workers from leaving the coalition government,” he said in his assembly constituency Naranpura.
PDP patron and chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed rocked the boat on the day of his swearing-in when he credited Pakistan and separatist outfits for the smooth conduct of the assembly polls.
The PDP put its partner in a spot again when party legislators termed 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s hanging as a “travesty of justice”.
The release of separatist leader Masarat Alam was the latest thorn in the alliance. But Sayeed seems to have softened his stand of late as his government withdrew an executive order that mandated hoisting the state flag along with the Tricolour, which is mandatory under the state constitution.
Political analysts found “nothing more than posturing” in the statements because the BJP has the option of going with National Conference if the PDP formula fails or consider fresh elections.
“The PDP cannot afford snap polls because good governance is the only way it can sell an alliance with the BJP to its core constituency in Kashmir, which remains largely anti-BJP,” an analyst said.