New Delhi: Can a Bharatiya Janata Party-appointed chief minister be an answer to the cycle of violence in Kashmir? Top sources in BJP say, yes. The idea has gone beyond proposal stage and has been discussed with CM Mehbooba Mufti, whose Peoples Democratic Party is in alliance with the BJP.
Sources told CNN-News18 that during Mehbooba Mufti’s recent visit to Delhi, the idea of rotating the CM’s post between the alliance partners every six months was discussed.
“The suggestion was made to her at the highest level on multiple occasions that perhaps a different CM would help in containing the dissatisfaction in the Valley, but she did not agree,” said the source.
When asked for his comments on the proposal, Jitendra Singh, MoS in the Prime Minister’s Office, who is MP from Udhampur, said, “No decision in this regard has been taken yet but the BJP is an organisational party. It is not a kitchen coterie. The decision will be taken at the highest level in due course.”
Mehbooba Mufti’s popularity has seen a constant downfall ever since Burhan Wani’s death last year. On Tuesday, Mufti was forced to withdraw from a public function after pro-Pakistan slogans were raised there. One of the reasons being given for the unending cycle of violence in Kashmir is the PDP-BJP alliance.
Some Kashmiris believe that Mufti betrayed them by aligning with the BJP. “We don’t regret the alliance one bit. It was the most logical thing to do after the mandate. People who lost in the elections – National Conference and Congress – are the one who are criticising us in the hope that they can come to power,” Jitendra Singh said.
When asked if he feels that a BJP CM is the answer to Kashmir’s problems, Singh said people in his constituency and elsewhere in Jammu and Ladakh region did not want to suffer because of terrorism and violence in the valley.
Commenting on the matter, Farooq Abdullah, Srinagar MP and senior National Conference leader, said such an arrangement is bound to fail. “I don’t think it’s going to work… This is BJP-PDP government and if the PDP is not delivering, how will the BJP do it?”
Calling for Governor’s Rule in the state, Abdullah said “dialogue needs to be started with all the parties involved”.
“We are living in a fool’s paradise if we are going to change the chief minister. What is needed is dialogue with everyone,” said Abdullah.
On Mufti, he said, “She is not going to leave the chair. Let there be Governor’s Rule and then there can be elections. She should leave the CM’s post and admit that she is not able to do anything.”