Even after deciding to continue its alliance with the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir, the People’s Democratic Party is playing hardball, with PDP president Mehbooba Mufti not willing to take oath as Chief Minister of the state unless the BJP shows some “practical forward movement” on the “agenda of alliance”. Informed sources in her party said Mehbooba is miffed with the treatment meted out to the coalition partner by the BJP so far, and has conveyed her concerns to the “right quarters” of the BJP.
As the PDP has empowered Mehbooba to take the final call on the continuation of the alliance with the BJP, sources said she has conveyed to BJP that the party should take some steps before oath taking, as she needs some “cushion of credibility” to “justify her wait”. She has come under sharp criticism from the opposition National Conference as they have demanded fresh elections if Mehbooba has reservations to form the government with the BJP again.
National Conference and other opposition parties have accused Mehbooba of plunging the state into political uncertainty.
Highly-placed sources said that Mehbooba has tasked two of her former PDP ministers to get a firm assurance from the BJP on the implementation of the common minimum programme and has said that before the oath taking, the Central government should at least announce the return of two power projects from National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) to the state government as promised earlier when the coalition was formed.
Mehbooba had earlier conveyed to the BJP that the PDP has suffered under the alliance with the BJP as the Central government has not “bothered” to implement the envisioned goals.