PDP asks Mehbooba to decide

Senior PDP leader and Minister Naeem Akhtar, who escaped unhurt in a grenade attack on his motorcade on September 21, is seen addressing mediapersons after a recent core group meeting of the party in Srinagar.  

A four-hour-long meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the first since the demise of PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, on Sunday witnessed no opposition to the alliance with the BJP and ended with a pledge “to carry forward the late Mufti’s political vision on J&K and Pakistan initiatives.”

Setting neither timeline nor preconditions for continuation of the PDP-BJP government in the State, PDP legislator Nayeem Akhtar said, “Some progress has been made on the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ during the Mufti’s time and much more need to be achieved…Today’s meeting authorised PDP president Mehbooba Mufti to take the final call on government formation.”

“No condition [was set] but good faith implementation of the agenda remains there,” he added.

The meeting was attended by all senior PDP leaders, including MPs Muzaffar Hussain Baig and Tariq Hameed Karra, critical of the coalition’s functioning in the past.

Sources said PDP leaders spoke about their personal experiences with the Mufti, who passed away on January 7. Besides, a pledge was made “to take forward the late Mufti’s political vision on Kashmir forward.”

With the BJP top brass in New Delhi maintaining a meaningful silence and distance from Ms. Mufti after the recent PDP statements critical of the lack of progress on the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ and treatment of the late Mufti, the two coalition partners seem to be waiting for the other to blink first.

“On the government formation, the situation remains hazy and unclear,” said a top Peoples Democratic Party leader on condition of anonymity.

However, PDP legislator Nayeem Akhtar was all praise for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to sustain talks with Pakistan and claimed “it was Mr. Mufti’s vision to see India and Pakistan talking and being friends.”

“Mr. Modi’s Pakistan visit was a moment of glory for Mufti sahib on the death bed. He [Mufti] believed Kashmir remained prime victim of unfriendly relations between India and Pakistan. And Mr. Modi showed maturity for continuation of talks with Pakistan despite the Pathankot attack. This is a great tribute to him.” Mr. Akhtar described the common minimum programme, ‘Agenda for Alliance’ “a sacrosanct document” and “initiatives on Pakistan a must” for a peaceful Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile, the State BJP was hopeful about continuation of the coalition government. “Our alliance with the PDP is for six years. It is just that Mufti sahib is not among us. We are waiting for the PDP’s official response and will respond accordingly,” said senior BJP leader Nirmal Singh.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2021 1:54:15 AM |

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