The unlikely affair in the valley this spring is getting cosier and may soon culminate in a formal arrangement that is likely to be more a live in than a love marriage. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is likely to return as CM of J&K after a long gap and in fact having relinquished this position to his daughter earlier. BJP MLAs will definitely be part of the cabinet but Mufti will remain Chief Minister for the entire term. This development is coming after almost two months of ‘dating’ between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Peoples Democratic Party. “The deal is sealed – we shall have a government next week” said a PDP leader.
“It is a great moment in the history of the BJP and the day will be written in golden letters in the history of J&K said senior BJP leader Nirmal Singh who is tipped to be the Dy C.M.
The two main stumbling blocks to reaching an agreement were Article 370 and repeal of AFSPA – the Armed forces act whereby army has extra-constitutional powers that enables them to arrest, detain and question people at will. It is believed that some consensus may be reached about withdrawing the special powers of the army in stages. There is no word on the fate of 370 and there is unlikely to be any change there. There is a tame ‘agreement’ that aspirations of the people of the state will be respected.
But in a first, a BJP leader is set to be elected to J&K Council which has never happened before. BJP’s Sofi Yousuf from the Kashmir valley and Chering Dorjey from Leh have for the first time made it to the House already for all practical purpose since no one is opposing them.
The BJP and the PDP are going to the Council elections together in a seat arrangement to ensure maximum haul of the 11 seats. Sofi’s election will mean that the BJP will get its first taste of power in the valley where all its candidates lost their security deposits in the recently held Assembly elections. Sofi, who is a former policeman has been with the BJP since 1994.
It may be mentioned here that between the four political dispensations that exist in J&K – National Conference, PDP, Congress and BJP almost all permutation combinations have been tried till now. N.C. was with NDA during Vajapayee’s time, then it was with Congress during UPA -2. PDP and Congress have been together and now it is going to be PDP – BJP for the first time. BJP’s presence in the predominantly Hindu Jammu area has been growing stronger but it has never experienced power in the government at Srinagar. Let us see how this augurs for the besieged state this time and what the fall out is on the border situation. If this combo fails to deliver too, it may require another AAP kind of Delhi-revolution to change the situation for Kashmiris .