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Stage set Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for Sayeed's coronation

india Updated: Feb 28, 2015 22:07 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the first-ever BJP partnered government in Jammu and Kashmir. 79-year-old Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is to be sworn in as the ninth chief minister of the state.

Mufti will head a government which is first of its kind for many reasons. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Sayeed was a chief minister with the Congress support for three years from 2005-08.

But, this time he will get the chief ministerial tenure for full six-year, as the Jammu and Kashmir assembly's tenure is for six years.

The BJP and the PDP have won the highest ever seats in this assembly. It's for the first time that parties with 'extreme' and 'diametrically opposite' political views will share power.

The keystone of the PDP's political narrative is Article 370, which is non-negotiable, pandering to soft separatism and floating the feeling of sub-nationalism. The BJP's ideological mooring is anti-thesis of all this.
It's for this reason that Mufti has described the coming together of the BJP and the PDP as 'meeting of the north and the south poles.'

Till 2014 assembly elections, the BJP was dubbed as an NGO (party) in this Muslim majority state. Now, it not only has elected MLA Abdul Gani Kohli but also MLC Sofi Yousaf from the Valley, who are Muslims. The coming into the governance gives an opportunity to the party to break the perception of being anti-Muslim party.

The BJP believes that Kashmir problem is rooted in Nehruvian legacy. It has uprooted and substituted the Congress in numerical terms and plans to re-phrase the political narrative of the state.

Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who had won the assembly election in 1983 from RS Pura in Jammu, is probably the only mainstream Kashmiri leader, who had invested in bridging the divide between the Jammu and the Kashmir regions. He has maintained that focus should also be on Jammu-Kashmir rather than only New Delhi-Srinagar.

The BJP represents the aspiration of the Jammu region in real term. The seemingly historic alliance could be a turning point in the political history of the state in a sense that the dissenting voices have decided to hoist the rudder of conciliation and governance.

The PDP was formed when AB Vajpayee was the prime minister of the BJP-led government who had promised "insaniyat ke dayirae mein" solution to Kashmir issue at a historic rally in Srinagar.

PM Narendra Modi has said he decided to celebrate Diwali in Kashmir to show empathy with the flood-affected. If the alliance will be firework of 'ideas of India' or 'ghar-wapsi' for the Kashmiris, is still unclear.