Opposites may attract each other but whether they make for a great and lasting marriage or not is a million dollar question to which there could be not even a single consensus answer.
Not only the people of Jammu and Kashmir, but the entire nation or rather to say the whole world was witness to a ‘stunning’ alliance between BJP and PDP in the state which has brought the two politically and ideologically opposite parties to partner with each other with two viewable objectives. The one of them is, as critics would love to define it as, ‘power-sharing’. While the other one, which has been made apparent, is ‘to perform governance, governed by the pointers highlighted in the Common Minimum Programme (CMP)’.
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While the BJP with its ‘devoted bhartiya’ image had always been critical of Congress pampering secessionists and the hardliners, the PDP on the other hand is known for its soft stand on Kashmiri separatists who are basically the anti-nationals and are eating into the roots of nation’s sovereignty and integrity. Mufti wasted no time and immediately after assuming power made his loyalty, towards not only the seditious and treacherous secessionist Hurriyat but towards Pakistan also, public by extending gratitude to them for facilitating the holding of elections in J&K. This gesture of Mufti has left the BJP red faced. Addressing the first press conference after taking oath, Mufti had said, "Pakistan, Hurriyat and militants allowed conducive atmosphere for Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir." These remarks have put the BJP in a tight spot as the Centre in August 2014 had cancelled talks with Pakistan after its High Commissioner Abdul Basit in New Delhi met Hurriyat Conference leaders. BJP has always advocated a strong stand against Pakistan and advocates a no-mercy policy towards terrorists while Mufti's People's Democratic Party is in favour of adopting a soft approach.
Even as a lot has been compromised upon by both the parties in alliance, by marking the beginning of the ‘marriage of opposites’ with his turbulent proclamation, the ground level workers in the BJP have started feeling that Mufti has made it clear that the BJP will continued to be treated as a second fiddle.
While, the PDP seems to have diluted its stand on controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) the BJP has taken a complete U-turn on Article 370 which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir and both the parties have left open the issue of rehabilitation of West Pakistan refugees while chalking out a common agenda for the alliance. The “Agenda for Alliance” released by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Kumar Singh spoke about many things including political and developmental issues.
On the Article 370, which gives special status to the State, the BJP, which has been demanding its abrogation, has now agreed on status quo. “While recognising the different positions and appreciating the perception, the BJP and the PDP have on the Constitutional status of J&K, considering the political and legislative realities, the present position will be maintained on all the constitutional provisions pertaining to J&K, including the special status in the Constitution,” states the Common Minimum Programme or the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ as it has been termed.
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