The parties have prepared a draft common minimum programme which has been sent to the prime minister Narendra Modi for his approval.
PDP and BJP, it is becoming increasingly clear, are on way to form the next J&K Government. The parties have prepared a draft common minimum programme which has been sent to the prime minister Narendra Modi for his approval. However, the contents of the CMP have not been made transparent. There are, however, some reports which say that the BJP has agreed to keep Article 370 inviolate and remove the Armed Forces Special Powers Act gradually from the state, starting with the repeal of the law from the BJP stronghold of Jammu. Earlier PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed speaking at a function in Jammu made it clear that his party’s stand on Article 370, revocation of AFSPA, peace talks with Pakistan and separatists, release of political prisoners, return of power projects and comprehensive rehabilitation of flood-affected would remain “non-negotiable”. And in all fairness to him, Mufti has so far refused to budge, wanting BJP to agree to the party’s demands before the alliance between them goes ahead. It is not completely known whether BJP has conceded on these issues. And if it has offered to consider some of them or promised a forward movement, what is PDP giving in return? For all their carefully worded rationale and their lofty rhetoric, the coalitions between the political parties – and that too as ideologically antagonistic as BJP and PDP – are inherently transactional in nature. In recent months, BJP has championed several issues, some of which threaten to alter some basic political realities about the state. Any connivance by the PDP on these issues or even a public perception of them will not only go against the aspirations of the people but will also be politically costly for PDP. One such issue which has become a bone of contention is that of West Pakistan Refugees. BJP wants their settlement in J&K on “humanitarian grounds”. This simplistic solution to a fiendishly complex issue raises deep concerns. More so, when this issue arises from the convoluted baggage of the partition and hence has to be a part of an integrated solution to the issues related to J&K. It is therefore, incumbent on PDP to be transparent about all its dealings with BJP. One, however, could trust Mufti Sayeed to understand politics and the situation in Kashmir better than many of its current crop of leaders to restrain him from rushing headlong into the alliance. And there is a hope that he will deliver on the expectation.