As the PDP-BJP combine finally joined hands to run the state together , Kashmir and Jammu remained vertically split in their reactions to the coalition government.
Celebrations was limited to party workers even as PDP restrained from any major public celebrations after teaming up with one it opposed all through the election campaign.
“There is unease in Srinagar. The fact that the BJP is part of the government has made people weary given their Hindutva agenda,” said Irfan Qureshi, a government employee in Srinagar.
Javaid Khan, a banker by profession, sees the coalition very weak to sustain for all six years. “There are bound to be differences when Amarnath and Hindu pilgrimages begin in the Valley,” he said.
However, many see it as a ray of hope to end Kashmir’s uncertainty. “The BJP has the power and mandate of people to take bold steps to end the uncertainty here. It can engage Pakistan and locals to address the larger political problem,” said Ashraf Muhammad, a businessman.
In Jammu, people see in BJP a hope to end discrimination with the region. “I hope they will deliver equal share to all the three regions of the state. Though both the parties’ ideologies are poles apart, India has been witness to such arrangements in other parts of the country also where states have flourished under such situations,” said Sandeep Chug, 37, a wholesale cloth distributor.
With J-K marred by corruption in government offices, Rajeev Mengi (42), a government employee, has expectations from the government to end the menace of corruption.“The state is neck deep in corruption. We are hopeful PDP and BJP leaders’ promises on corruption will be translated into action,” said Mengi.