It loses ground in Kashmir buckling under BJP pressure
In March, when Kashmir-centric Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) entered into an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), long-time Congress man Mufti Mohammad Sayeed defended coalition with the saffron party as the only way out for rehabilitation of flood victims in the cash-starved state and resolution of vexed Kashmir issue.
However, in its six months of rule, the PDP led by Mufti not only failed to get Rs 44,000 crore funds from the Centre for rehabilitation of flood victims, but was pushed to the wall as well by the BJP both at the Centre and the state for making any leniency towards separatists on the Kashmir issue.
Anger is seething within the bureaucracy over the government’s premature transfer of officials which has come to the fore after Chief Secretary Mohammad Iqbal Khanday put in his papers for early retirement.
The alliance came into existence at the cost of a promise made by Mufti during poll campaigning that the PDP wanted to keep the right-wing BJP at bay in J&K.
However, Mufti’s siding with the BJP and ignoring the Congress made it clear that any movement on the Kashmir peace process was only possible when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on his side. That did not happen. Even prospects of peace process looked bleak.
In Kashmir, flood victims, who were given big assurances by the PDP-BJP government, are angry. A senior Cabinet minister of the PDP pleading anonymity said they had expected liberal financial assistance from the Centre. Senior party leader Naeem Akhter, however, boasts that the government has done an excellent job in the first six months.