Srinagar: BJP-PDP alliance faces test of extreme ideologies

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Mar 09, 2015 21:36 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party-Peoples Democratic Party (BJP-PDP) alliance seems to be in trouble for the third time since it formed a government Jammu and Kashmir nine days ago.

The two parties are at loggerheads over chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's decision to release hardline separatist Masrat Alam.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed anguish over the decision while the PDP is sticking to its stand saying "similar steps like the release of hardliner Syed Ali Geelani were taken in 2002''.

On the face of it, things seem to be going wrong in the BJP-PDP government from the very beginning. After the "unholy marriage" between the two extreme ideologies, the two parties, instead of running the government, seem busy playing to their own vote banks. While the PDP has been making "separatist noises", the BJP has been distancing itself from making remarks.

As the two alliance partners sing in different tunes, opposition leaves no stone unturned to criticise. Writing on micro blogging site, former chief minister and National Conference president Omar Abdullah claims the happenings are scripted. "Mufti wants the discourse to be about anything but his alliance with the BJP, his hugs with NaMo (Narendra Modi) & the hollow common minimum program and so far his script is working," he said on twitter.

Abdullah also questioned the government's decision to allow Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Praveen Tagodia in Jammu after his entry in the state was banned by his government three years ago.

"While the constituents of the state government bicker over Alam and Togadia, flood victims suffer. Bravo @jkpdp Bravo," Abdullah wrote on twitter.

Everything seems to be going wrong in the BJP-PDP government from the very beginning. The trouble started on day one after the chief minister credited Pakistan and Hurriyat for peaceful polls, a group of PDP legislators demanded the remains of the Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru a day later.

A statement issued by PDP's media cell, a group of PDP legislators said that hanging of Afzal Guru was "travesty of justice".

"PDP has always maintained that Afzal Guru's hanging was travesty of justice and constitutional requirements/process was not followed in hanging him out of turn. The way he was picked up from serial no 28 and singled out has been condemned by the PDP and it stands by the demand for return of his mortal remains, and the party promises to follow vigorously for the return of the mortal remains," the statement read.

There was a ruckus in Parliament following Mufti's comments saying Pakistan allowed peaceful polls in the state. "They (Pakistan) could have used its assets, like Hurriyat and militants, to disrupt polls but they allowed democratic process. It gives me hope," said Mufti.

On the decision of Alam's release, there is again a split in the two regions of the state. While Jammu has seen protests against the PDP, there is not much reaction in Srinagar. Except for supporters dropping in at Alam's residence in Srinagar, there is not any enthusiasm visible on the streets.

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