Common Minimum Programme or the Minimum that BJP-PDP can compromise on?

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Puneet Gupta


 

Areas of contention

  1. PDP’s demand of AFSPA revocation
  2. PDP’s demand that NHPC run Hydel-power projects be handed over to state
  3. PDP’s demand to resume talks with Pak and Separatists
  4. BJP’s demand for West Pak Refugees rehabilitation

 

Reports say that back-channel negotiations between the PDP and the BJP are over and the government will be formed very soon. With union minister Jitendra Singh meeting Governor NN Vohra for the formation of the government, let us see what the real issues at hand are.Now that the areas that have created roadblocks till now are clear in the picture, let us discuss what really the problem has been so far. The BJP-PDP combine have been working on these areas of discord so as to make a government that hopefully passes the test of six years.

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Primary in these areas is the revocation of AFSPA alongwith the delimitation of the constituencies. The AFSPA is considered barbaric in Kashmir where the Kashmiri populace vehemently rejects it with a defence of Human Rights Violation. The delimitation act can change the politics of Jammu and Kashmir in ways unimaginable since the accession of the state to India. Mufti Mohammed Syed has also been tabling for resuming talks with Pakistan as well as members of Hurriyat.

The PDP also wants that 21 Hydel power projects that currently are regulated by NHPC be given to the state government. The BJP has not yet agreed to this demand which was put down by the Congress-NC combine government in the previous regime.  As of now PDP and BJP are worlds apart on the most contentious of issues prevalent in the state.

Modi government, since the time of its inception at the centre,  has opted for a tough stance against Pakistan. So much so that in the initial months Rajnath Singh made statements about suitable responses to ceasefire violations by Pakistan. PM Narendra Modi, however, recently was hailed by Mufti when the former initiated talks with his Pak counterpart. This move could very well have been triggered by the ongoing government formation talks in Jammu and Kashmir.

One out of the four issues falls in the kitty of BJP which has been demanding Citizenship rights for the West Pakistan Refugees (WPRs) who have been living in the state for many decades altogether. The PDP fears a valley backlash on this issue since the WPRs advertently will form as vote bank for the BJP and can effectively change the dynamics of the political fabric in the state.