Over the last two weeks, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s twitter account has seen exceptionally high activity, much like during the polls in 2014 Nov-Dec. The ex-CM of J&K has constantly chided the PDP and specially Mehbooba Mufti for the painstaking delay in government formation for over two and a half months. By now it is pretty clear that if the BJP and the PDP come together, the Chief Minister-designate is Ms Mehbooba Mufti.
The time taken in deciding the scheme of things has definitely pushed the ailing state of J&K back back by many more months, but curiously no one except those in the BJP and the PDP will ever come to know what really set the ball rolling between BJP’s central leadership and the PDP.
Now even if it is a coalition, Mehbooba Mufti can choose who becomes a minister from the PDP and who does not. Same will work in the case of the BJP where the central leadership would be showing the local leadership the path.
This is different from the past where the CM chose from MLAs who would hold ministerial berths. It was the CM’s prerogative earlier.
The change has happened simply because Mehbooba does not have an alternative that forming a govt with the BJP. The BJP after the loss of ground in ten months cannot afford to compensate further and is standing its ground.
For the longest time in the last two-and-a-half months, Mehbooba maintained that she did not want to become the CM just to taste power. She could have stood her ground too but that would mean two things, snapping ties with the BJP and losing out in re-elections.
Mehbooba right now is in the middle of a political turmoil and the BJP might as well not tell her who she will be working with in her cabinet. What’s more, she will have to live with that. She is certainly not in a situation to dictate to the BJP over the scenario of portfolios, or for that matter anything else.
The choice of a Chief Minister in selecting the ministerial team does not exist in J&K at present.
She has to prove her mettle in a very short span of time, or else the government could easily go into the remote control mode and when that happens, the political career of the candidate gets over.