When the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shook hands to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir early this year, it caught many by surprise. It was not just that the two parties have different political ideologies but also had fought election against each other.
And, as was expected, the surprise alliance witnessed troughs and crests all through the year 2015 on different issues.
Ally BJP was left red faced when PDP Patron Mufti Mohd Sayeed after taking oath of office as Chief Minister surprised all by asserting that Pakistan as well as armed militants and Kashmir’s Hurriyat Conference deserve credit for allowing peaceful polls in the state recently.
I want to say on record and I have told this to the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi), that we must credit the Hurriyat, Pakistan and militant outfits for the conduct of assembly elections in the state, Mr Sayeed said while addressing media conference shortly after he took the oath of office. BJP refused to be drawn into the controversy. Bharatiya Janata Party National Secretary Shrikant Sharma briefly commented that ‘peaceful polls’ in Jammu and Kashmir, was conducted with the support of the Election Commission and other security agencies, besides those who believe in the Indian Constitution.
Another stumbling block for the PDP-BJP coalition regime was the release of separatist leader Masarat Alam soon after the formation of alliance.
The release of the Muslim League chief from a Baramulla prison on March 7 once again put the two allies on different pages, as politicians and the media blamed Mr Sayeed for derailing the peace process in J&K even before it could take off.
Responding to the PDP’s statement that Alam’s release was within the ambit of the common agenda, Jugal Kishore Sharma, a senior BJP leader on March 9, was quoted in media, we categorically do not agree with this decision.
This is neither the BJP’s decision nor the coalition Government’s decision; it is a decision of the PDP alone.
After Masarat Alam, the BJP-PDP adopted a different approach on another hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Geelani’s application for an Indian passport to visit his ailing daughter in Saudi Arabia has again put the two alliance partners on different turfs.
While senior party leader Nayeem Akhter said the issue needs to be treated on humanitarian-level, the state BJP leaders asked for an apology from the senior separatist leader before passport can be issued to him.
While riding through troughs and crests PDP -BJP alliance witnessed rough phase when the Chief Minister in media interaction on May 17, said the state government has shelved the construction of an artificial lake over the Tawi river here as it was not feasible