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PDP-BJP alliance on the brink of an end?

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Jammu and Kashmir: In an unlikely turn of events, it seems that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti finally decided to call off the PDP-BJP alliance and not claim power in Jammu and Kashmir.

Also, all this has been anticipated without any formal announcements made in this regard. Recent evidence supports the fact.

On Sunday, the Muftis observed the 40th-day mourning of late state chief minister, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed. Mehbooba Mufti went with only members of her immediate family to the Dara Shikoh Park in south Kasmir Bijbehara town to offer ‘Fateha’ prayers at her father’s grave.

All senior leaders of the PDP were conspicuous by their absence during her visit to Bijbehara. Instead, senior leaders and former ministers went to offer ‘Fateha’ prayers at 11 a.m. while the Mufti family had already returned to their residence in Srinagar city.

Sources said Mehbooba Mufti has virtually been out of communication with party’s senior leaders recently.

When BJP state president, Sat Pal Sharma and former deputy chief minister, Nirmal Singh called on Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday in Srinagar, insiders said, she simply refused to be drawn into any discussion regarding government formation in the state.

“She has not been meeting senior colleagues of her party during the recent days. What is in her mind is anybody’s guess, but in all likelihood it appears she does not want to head the alliance government with the BJP who have so far failed to offer any assurances to her on the future arrangement between the two parties”, said a PDP source believed to be close to Mehbooba Mufti.

The source said most former ministers and legislators both from the PDP and the BJP are in favour of an early government formation in the state while Ms Mufti seems to be worried more about the future.

“She does not want to lose tomorrow for today. For many leaders in the party, it is a now or never situation. They might never get another chance to become ministers in the state, but she has a long political career ahead,” said another PDP insider.

He said she could not be pushed into taking a decision that would barter away the future of her party for power. “She seriously believes her father was given a raw deal. The promises made to people remained unfulfilled by that centre that did not move beyond words during Mufti Sahib’s tenure”, he added.

The same source said the BJP had not been disclosing its cards clearly after Sayeed’s death.

A BJP source said the party high command is in no hurry to succumb to what these sources call, ‘PDP brinkmanship’.

“We cannot be pushed into anything because an elected government is not in place in the state. Our assurances are already there and mutual trust between the two allies means the PDP must respect and believe our word”, the source said.

He also confirmed that state BJP leaders had been advised by the party high command not to make any speculative statements on government formation in the state.

“It will happen when it has to”, said a senior BJP leader declining to be named.

Given the gradual entrenching of the PDP and the BJP in their stated barriers, the moot point is, even if a government is formed by the two parties how viable and lasting would that be?

The measured silence by both the parties indicates the alliance could be over in Jammu & Kashmir before its divorce is formally announced. (IANS)

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Republic Day functions pass off peacefully in J&K

Reports of peaceful Republic Day celebrations have also come from different district headquarters of the Valley, Jammu and Ladakh regions

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Smartly turned out contingents of army, paramilitary forces, state police and school children participated in the parade. Pixabay
Smartly turned out contingents of army, paramilitary forces, state police and school children participated in the parade. Pixabay
  • Peaceful Republic Day celebrations amid heightened security in J&K
  • Hoisting function and ceremonial parade were held at Maulana Azad Stadium
  • Mobile phone services were suspended as a precautionary measure

Amid heightened security, the Republic Day celebrations on Friday passed off peacefully in Jammu and Kashmir’s winter and summer capitals.

The main flag hoisting function and ceremonial parade were held at the Maulana Azad stadium in Jammu city where state governor N.N. Vohra unfurled the national flag and took the salute at an impressive parade.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, her cabinet colleagues, Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta, high court judges and senior army police and civil officials were also present at the function.

ALSO READ: India faces more threats to its republic today than it did 66 years ago

People from across the social spectrum and school children also participated in country’s 69th Republic Day celebrations.

Cultural programmes by school children was a highlight of this year's Republic Day celebrations both in Jammu city and different district headquarters of the state. Pixabay
Cultural programmes by school children was a highlight of this year’s Republic Day celebrations both in Jammu city and different district headquarters of the state. Pixabay

In Srinagar city, the main function was held at the Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium where Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri hoisted the Tricolour and took the salute at the parade.

Extraordinary security arrangements had been made this year for the Republic Day celebrations amid intelligence inputs that a non-local female suicide militant had entered Srinagar.

ALSO READ: Election Commission to participate in Republic Day parade

Mobile phone services were suspended in the Valley as a precautionary measure, with the authorities saying they would be restored in the afternoon.

Reports of peaceful Republic Day celebrations have also come from different district headquarters of the Valley, Jammu and Ladakh regions.

Separatists had called for a shutdown across the Valley to attract international attention to the Kashmir dispute. (IANS)

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