Has Mehbooba Mufti who was elected today as leader of the PDP’s legislative party first and later the CM candidate emerged stronger after delaying government formation for almost three months or has she given BJP the time and the chance to rethink the coalition and reassert itself at a time when the party was losing face in Jammu over conceding too much to PDP.
Some of the commentators are terming her decision to delay government as something which has allowed her to get out of the shadow of former CM Mufti Mohd Sayeed. Mehooba has remained an understudy of Mufti despite being a long time ally of her father, and even after playing a crucial role in transformation of PDP into a viable political party. She along with her father can be credited for creating an option to the NC which had dominated the discourse in valley till Muftis gave shape to PDP.
While Mehbooba is a greenhorn as far administration is concerned, her supporters vouch for her close connect with the grass root level workers and masses. She also has good political management skills and has ears close to the ground and feels the political pulse keenly. This her supporters tells makes her different from other leaders of her time, who are either cocooned away from the hustle and bustle of ground level politics like Omar Abdullah or the likes of separatists like Yasin Malik and others who don’t have support outside downtown Srinagar.
Her critics however argue that Mehbooba had taken the BJP for granted and she was also made to believe by her advisors that the saffron party was willing to bend over backwards to form the government. However, what the PDP honcho failed to realize was that BJP has already has already stretched itself too thin while agreeing to the Agenda of Alliance. The PDP by insisting on written assurances, lifting of AFSPA, and return of power projects was something, which BJP could not commit even if it was ready to do so behind closed doors.
Mehbooba, critics argue no doubt is the architect of PDP choosing the party’s symbols, policies and ideals but by leading the political situation incorrectly, she no doubt has handed over the momentum to BJP, a party that was slowly losing credibility in Jammu that gave it 25 seats.