Srinagar, Jan 15 — PDP continued to play the guessing game on the issue of forming the new government with its ally BJP by saying today that it cannot put a time frame for it.
Eight days after the sudden death of the party patron and Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed who headed the 10-month-old PDP-BJP coalition government, the party has not clarified its position amid persistent reports that it is unhappy with BJP over a variety of issues.
The issues believed to be nagging the PDP leadership range from Sayeed not being given proper respect when he passed away in Delhi on January 7 to meagre flow of funds from the Centre to the state which is now under a spell of Governor’s rule.
“I cannot say anything on it,” senior PDP leader and former minister Naeem Akhtar told reporters when asked how much time it will take the PDP to form the next government in the state.
Akhtar, who talked to reporters in Sayeed’s hometown Bijbehara after ‘fateha khwani’ (special prayers) organised by the party in memory of the late leader at his grave, said PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has not yet started consultations with senior party leadership on the issue of government formation.
“Mehbooba has not yet met her colleagues like (Muzaffar Hussain) Baigh, Dilawar (Mir) and others. After she holds consultations, the future course of action will be announced,” said the PDP leader and one of the most trusted lieutenants of Sayeed.
Two days back, the PDP, which formed coalition government with BJP in view of hung verdict in assembly elections a year ago, said it was reviewing the progress made on implementing the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ between the two parties before embarking on fresh government formation in the state.
Against this background, union Finance Secretary R P Watal came here yesterday and met Mehbooba Mufti.
Though PDP said Watal had met Mehbooba just to express his condolences, the key official of the central government is believed to have explained to her about what has been done by the Modi government and what is in store for the state.
Meanwhile, opposition National Conference today sought to fish in the troubled waters as it asked PDP to break its “opportunistic” alliance with the BJP and hold fresh polls to give people of the state a chance to decide their fate.
“If PDP is truly not hungry for power at the cost of its own dignity and much more importantly that of the state, they should break their opportunistic alliance with the BJP and give the people a chance to decide their fate in fresh elections rather than asking the Prime Minister for a face saver,” NC chief spokesman Aga Ruhullah Mehdi said in a statement.
“While PDP is busy enacting a drama of a review in the media about its newfound conscience, they are unrelenting in seeking a face saver from the Prime Minister to market as some sort of a triumph that would enable them to continue with their alliance with the BJP.
“PDP has two very clear options — they either break their alliance with the BJP or they start delivering on the promises they had made in the agenda of the alliance. Everything else constitutes delusional exercises of futility,” said Mehdi, the MLA from Budgam.
The NC spokesman said there was absolutely no reason for people to trust PDP again after it took two months in finalizing a common minimum programme with BJP and spent the next 10 months declaring how well this alliance was delivering.
“All of a sudden, after Mufti Sahib’s demise, PDP leaders want people to believe they have discovered their suppressed collective conscience by openly admitting they have been lying for the past 10 months.
“Almost every PDP leader, including Mehbooba Mufti praised the PDP-BJP alliance countless times in the past 10 months.
Mufti Sahib himself kept reposing faith in PDP s alliance with the BJP till his last breath.
“If Mufti Sahab was in fact humiliated by BJP, as Mehbooba Mufti is now indicating through her posturing, what prevented him from speaking up and breaking his pact with the BJP,” Mehdi said.
He said PDP “swallowed all insults and humiliation for the sole dream of remaining in power at any cost. Not only did PDP willingly subject itself to humiliation but it also compromised on the honour and dignity of the state and its people to remain in power.”
Naeem Akhtar, on the other hand, said the PDP workers have to remain steadfast in carrying forward the mission of the party founder, Sayeed, and work harder on it following his death.
“The message to the workers is that the mission of Mufti sahib is to be carried forward and carried forward at any cost. They (workers) have remained steadfast in the past, and now when Mufti sahib is no more, they need to work harder on it,” he added.
Hundreds of PDP workers assembled at the Dara Shikoh Park in Bijbehara in Anantnag district where Sayeed was buried on January 7 following his death at AIIMS hospital in Delhi.