PDP Plays Hard To Get, Gives BJP 11-point Demand List

17 February 2015

New Delhi: The drubbing that the BJP received in Delhi has created more than just one problem for the Narendra Modi government. Apart from the fact that it has allowed subdued allies and other opposition parties to freely mock it, the loss has also impacted the BJP's attempts to form the government in Jammu and Kashmir. The Peoples Democratic Party, which secured 28 seats in Kashmir and is in talks with the BJP to form the new Jammu and Kashmir government, said the poll result in Delhi was a 'loud and clear message to all political parties that people are supreme'. Apart from the comments, the PDP has also released a 11-point list of demands to the BJP, based on which before the party decides on government formation in Jammu and Kashmir with the BJP. The 11-point proposal, reported The Times of India, has demands like negotiation with the Hurriyat and 'citizenship rights for displaced Hindus from Pakistan, settled in Jammu since 1947,' which could make any tie-up between the BJP and PDP in J&K an uneasy one. According to a report in Times Now, PDP also demanded status quo on Article 370 and the removal of AFSPA. It is important to note the timing of the demands. The Delhi assembly election results have given the reluctant allies of BJP an upper hand. Delhi Assembly Election clearly showed that the BJP is not as invincible as it looked after the clean sweep of the General Assembly election. Parties like PDP, who are no longer cowed down by the 'Modi wave', are taking their chances and putting forth their demands. The mandate in Jammu and Kashmir was a fractured one which clearly divided Jammu from Kashmir. The BJP did extremely well in Jammu with 25 seats but was not able to win a single seat in the Valley, which was swept by the PDP, prompting the two to negotiate an alliance. Soon after the J&K results started coming in, BJP president Amit Shah had said, 'All options are open for us, BJP will decide on how other parties respond or initiate.' But after being decimated in Delhi, the tables have clearly turned on BJP with the PDP now upping the ante. As Firstpost editor Sandipan Sharma argues in this article, PDP-BJP alliance is the only way to bridge the Jammu and Kashmir divide. While the alliance was criticised by many because of differing ideologies of the two parties, this piece in Firstpost argued that Mufti was the home minister in the VP Singh government in 1989 and the two parties have a history of working together in the past despite an uneasy relationship prior to the polls. But will the BJP bite the bullet and accept all the demands extended by Mufti Mohammed Sayeed? Ceding entirely to PDP's demand may prove costly for the Modi government, and could see other political allies also raising demands that they feel should be met. But not finding a middle ground and forming a government quickly also doesn't augur well for the state of Jammu and Kashmir which has now been since the election results were declared on 27 December last year. With no headway in government formation, Jammu and Kashmir has plunged into its 'worst-ever' financial crisis. Firstpost's Sameer Yasir had reported . With an unfunded gap of over Rs 5,000 crore in overall resources the Jammu and Kashmir government has been forced to stop all new developmental projects, one that the state, which was ravaged by floods last year, can ill afford. The BJP and the PDP may both need to compromise to find acceptable terms for an alliance to ensure the state gets a functioning government at the earliest. How soon it will happen is anyone's guess.