With BJP-PDP to form govt, Jammu hopes with caution

  • Vikram Sharma, Hindustan Times, Jammu
  • Updated: Feb 27, 2015 21:42 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will be forming its first-ever government in Jammu and Kashmir in an alliance with the People's Democratic Party (PDP) officially on March 1. It's a dream come true for the saffron party, but people in Jammu, where the BJP got its 25 seats, are treading with caution.

While many are happy that finally a government will come up after long delay, others are apprehensive about their aspirations being met.

"For the first time Jammu is representing a government with a heavy mandate, which has buoyed up the aspirations of people…earlier, it used to be Kashmir-centric only. This has raised hopes and those hopes will have to be taken care of by the 25 BJP MLAs…it's a tedious task," said Manohar Singh, 64, a retired government employee.

People who voted for the BJP say they allowed the party to mellow down on issues like the Article 370 and instead promise good governance. Now they expect the promises to be kept.

"It was vote for Modi only and not for BJP. We put aside our ambitious issues like Article 370 or delimitation on Modi's call for good governance, nationalist approach and development to vote for this party. Now we expect result on similar lines," said Gautam Gupta, 27, an information technology engineer at Gandhinagar.

However there is a section of people who are waiting to see if the BJP-PDP combine keeps with its nationalist agenda.

"A party professing nationalism and the other soft secessionism joining hands is likely to weaken the nationalist agenda when it comes to Jammu and Kashmir. What will follow remains to be seen," said Ajay Chrungoo, chairman of the Panun Kashmir, an organisation of migrant Kashmiri Pandits.

BJP leaders were not immediately available for comment. However, former chief minister Omar Abdullah took time out to tweet. "As all the expert J&K commentators will not tire telling us that this Modi-Mufti accord is the best thing since sliced bread… I must ask where are the celebrations on the streets of J&K? There should have been a spontaneous eruption of joy on both sides of the mountains," he wrote.

"I'm sure a few crackers will be organised between now & Sunday but the general reaction is decidedly muted," he further tweeted.

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