By Soumitra Bose/Mukesh Kumar Sinha
Those who thought J&K’s BJP-PDP Government’s “gratuitous”, “unbecoming”, “objectionable”, “anti-India” release of ‘separatist’ leader Masrat Alam from Srinagar Jail (Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself had to give statements on this in Parliament : “Release from prison of hardline separatist Masarat Alam in Jammu and Kashmir was unacceptable and that the decision was taken without the Centre’s consent. There will be no compromise on the integrity of the nation or public safety and security. The Jammu and Kashmir government did not consult the Centre on ‘its activities post government formation’.” . ) was the flashpoint…not, point of no return, albeit, conciliation, patch-ups etc are still not convinced about the stability of the alliance. In what is now being widely termed as grotesquely bizarre, its beyond anyone’s elementary, faintest apprehension how BJP, PDP can run Coalition Government that too in Kashmir, Jammu, Leh-Ladakh, together also known as J&K.
Those skeptics presently are seriously counting days before the incongruous, anachronous coalition breaks installing instability in the state all over again complete with loot, arson, killing, kidnapping, dacoity, love for Pakistan, propaganda of separation from India etc. This interestingly adheres to “if howsoever earnest/deeply craved hope/s is/are horses, beggars would ride them”. Beggars (t)here are those wishing, forecasting annihilation of the BJP-PDP coalition. Amusingly-yet-seriously, annihilation will soon be a passé making way for amorous affinity that will amplify not, annihilate because of BJP’s 100% result-giver, “Iron Man” Ram Madhav.
An inveterate protagonist (like Modi) of making Kashmir thoroughly “Indian”, Ram Madhav, whole-sole Indian, RSS-import, during entire electioneering+elections+G-overnment formation+its movement/s, is still glued to that state not allowing any puncture between BJP and PDP keeping all vested interests out. This way, Ram Madhav has succeeded in keeping the alliance intact and yet ward off maligning, disparaging remarks, taunting, cynicism, cynical remarks on the BJP’s alliance with PDP, the very alliance’s so-called ephemeral duration.
In an exclusive interview with Just In Print, fully pro-Indian Ram Madhav answers questions on BJP-PDP alliance among other issues.
Q: What message you will give to the BJP cadres regarding the continuation of (BJP’s) alliance with PDP?
A:This issue is not limited to the BJP cadres alone, whole nation is concerned about it and rightly so. This is not a political issue but related to national security and integrity. We are aware that the cadre and common people are shocked by this development. It is our duty to be sensitive to the sentiments of the people.
Q:There is a growing perception that J&K CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has given a big jolt to the BJP by releasing Masarat Alam. Your comments on it.
A: BJP decided to form the Government with PDP after a long process of consultations and keeping the aspirations of the people of J&K in mind. It is unfortunate that the decision to release Masarat Alam was taken unilaterally. This decision did hurt not only the BJP and its workers but also the people of India. As we also are a part of the Government, it is our responsibility to oppose such unilateral decision. Regarding this all MLAs of BJP have met the (BJP) National President Amit Shah and registered their protest. …
Q: What will be BJP’s stand if such an incident takes place again in the future?
A: We’re trying our best that incidents which raise doubts in the minds of the people about integrity and security of the nation will not occur again. We want to assure our workers and people of the country that hereafter everything will be executed as per the agenda of the Agenda for Alliance, the Common Minimum Program mutually agreed between BJP and PDP. No step to encourage separatism or hurting sentiments will be taken by the state government hereafter.
Q: As far as BJP in the BJP-PDP alliance is concerned, which are the provisions of the CMP that’re ensured by the BJP in the interests of the people of the J&K?
A: The (State) Government itself has been formed as per the CMP. The agenda takes care of of the interests of the local people and state interests as well as the security and integrity of the nation. The Government will focus on the rehabilitation policy, whether it is for the West Pakistan Refugees or the Hindus displaced from the Valley. The delimitation of the constituencies is another key issue which is included in the agenda. On all these issues, there will be policy formulation with mutual consultations.
Q: How far BJP is being inconvenienced due to the Opposition targeting Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as pro-Pakistan ?
A: Today, there’re many perceptions about Jammu and Kashmir. First day what the CM said was whether deliberate or emotional statement, he will be able to tell better, but he is well aware of the character and policy of the BJP. We’ll never compromise on national security and integrity for the sake of the power. We’ve already conveyed it clearly that the official representatives of the Government should follow the Agenda for Alliance in the letter and spirit. Both the parties should also follow this policy.
Q: Under the prevailing circumstances, do you think this Government of intellectually two different parties will complete its tenure of full six years ?
A: Yes, it is true that the stated positions and style of functioning of the both the parties are radically different. Therefore, we took three months to think and negotiate while forming the Government. We sincerely hope that this Government will last for full six years and do well. It is true that these two parties coming together was by itself looking as an impossible proposition. Considering the nature of fractured mandate and interest of the state we came together. It can be historical moment if this Government successfully completes the term. In any coalition, both the parties feel that they are compromising. BJP known for its nationalist thoughts has allied with a fregional party just for the interest of the state. We want to ensure long term and holistic development of Jammu and Kashmir.
Q: All over the nation, BJP’s given a slogan of Governance and Development. Is there any such policy for J&K as well?
A: In the agenda for alliance, 80% focus is on social, humanitarian and development issues, 10% on Governance and 10% on pertaining to general political issues. These issues can be long term development issues for J&K. We’re committed to bring the people of Jammu and Kashmir together and establish the example of national integration. We’re confident that not merely the politics but the path of development only can ensure J&K’s participation in the prosperity of India.
Q: How do you see Opposition parties coming together and questioning BJP’s nationalism on the issues of Masarat?
A: This is mere politics. These are the same people who have encouraged separatists in the past as far as our intention is concerned, we have never encouraged any terrorist or separatist activity; therefore, BJP’s thinking is not under question due to such allegations.
Q: PM Modi had to speak on the issue of J&K twice in Parliament. Being the key negotiator in this process, did you even think that situations may arise?
A: We know very well that this path is not easy. Sincerely speaking first day itself, we were hurt by the statement of the CM. The PM has taken the undisputed stand over the unity and integrity of the nation in the Parliament. Such incidents naturally create hiccups. We’re organizing a coordination committee at the state level for the smooth functioning of the Government. This will ascertain the process of consultation and communication in running the Government.
Q: Despite BJP and PDP having same number of MLAs, BJP’s settled for less important ministries. Isn’t BJP on backfoot?
A: This is not true. We agreed on equal ministries in the Government. It was decided that the CM would be from PDP and the BJP gets Speakership and both the parties would have 12 ministers each. We have almost done that. All ministers are important. It depends on how You look at them. With 60-62% of revenue, power is the mkost important ministry in J&K, it is with BJP. Industry is the second most important ministry which is also with the BJP. Other significant portfolios like health and urban development are also with BJP. PDP has home, finance and revenue. …Mufti Mohammad Sayeed himself said in his meeting with the Prime Minister before the Government formation that our aim should be to reduce the emotional gap between the people of the Jammu region and Kashmir Valley. We can reach from Jammu to Srinagar in 20 minutes by air while by bus it take 6 hours. But the emotional distance between Jammu and the Valley is not covered even after 60 years. This Government seeks to change that scenario.