The coalition remains a fraught proposition for their respective constituencies.
In the so far most definitive signal that a PDP-BJP government is on way to be formed, the PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed has said that his party was in Track-II negotiations with BJP and depending upon the areas of convergence a coalition would be formed on the basis of a Common Minimum Programme.
Mufti has said PDP will not sell the mandate of the people and that the interests of the state and its people will guide the party to form a stable and representative government in the state. PDP patron 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”.
BJP’s General Secretary Ram Madhav indicated as much when he recently revealed that the talks with PDP were “in progress”. Talking to reporters at a media event in New Delhi, Madhav affirmed that “there are very concrete and very positive efforts being made towards forming a good government in the state.”
This has left little doubt as to the inevitability of a PDP-BJP coalition making the new Government in JK, a prospect that many would have thought unthinkable before the polls.
But despite the assurances and conditionalities offered by the two parties for joining hands, the coalition between them remains a fraught proposition for their respective constituencies.
It will be a marriage between the parties with fundamentally antagonistic ideology and the political agenda. What people will be interested to see is not only the areas of convergence to be enshrined into a common minimum programme but also the areas of divergence to be left out of such a programme.
BJP discourse has so far refused to eschew the issues which raise deep existential fears in Kashmir: the West Pakistan refugees being one such issue.
What would matter is not a convenient silence on the issues of serious concern but that when the coalition between the two parties goes operational, they refrain from pursuing or conniving with an agenda or agendas that threaten to fundamentally alter the political reality of the state.