Srinagar, July 31: Days after the erstwhile Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir State stated that she made government with BJP “Out of compulsion” the reports from inside sources are emerging that the alliance between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that fell apart last month in is likely to be revived in the coming weeks with Muzaffar Hussain Baig as Chief Minister.
Sources said that a formal announcement is expected in the first week of September. Until then, the BJP wants all attempts to form a government to be put on hold in the Muslim-dominated state while New Delhi concentrates on conducting the annual Amarnath Yatra.
Sources said the PDP and the BJP have reached agreement on Muzaffar Hussain Baig becoming chief minister for the remaining three years of the state government’s six-year term, which ends in 2020.
It is understood that former Chief Minister and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti has been holding secret meetings with her close aides in the state and in New Delhi. BJP leaders in the national capital are also assessing what they require to finalize the new pact.
Baig, a 72-year-old Member of Parliament from north Kashmir’s Baramulla constituency, was among the founding members of the Peoples Democratic Party in 1999. Baig’s prospects as chief minister, present a win-win situation for both the PDP and BJP. For Mehbooba Mufti, Baig’s coronation will not only bring her party back to power through “command in experienced hands,” but will also check the threat from possible rebels emerging within her party. Baig was known to have issues with Mehbooba’s governance and party management when she headed the J&K government, but these problems seem to have been resolved.
Baig, who during the PDP’s maiden stint in power in 2002 held key ministerial portfolios including that of Law, Finance and Tourism, is seen as a seasoned hand who has already proved his worth.
On Saturday Mehbooba Mufti said she had reservations about joining hands with the BJP right from the beginning, adding “It was like drinking a cup of poison,” she said about the BJP-PDP alliance, but for all the extreme hardship that the PDP leader says she went through, Mufti made it a point to underline that it had done Kashmir some good.(KNB)