PDP-BJP spat: Will Kashmir issue end the alliance?


01 May 2017

PDP-BJP alliance: Rift widens over resolution of Kashmir issue

The alliance between the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and BJP in Kashmir has hit an all time low after the centre clarified it would not negotiate with Kashmiri separatists.

Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, J& K Education minister and senior PDP leader slammed the Modi government for deviating from Vajpayee government's open approach to resolving the issue.

Let us know more on their differences!

The BJP-PDP alliance

The BJP-PDP alliance was formed in 2015, forming a ruling alliance in J&K after they tallied 28 and 25 seats respectively in the state assembly elections. Following elections, negotiations lasting for two months between the parties supposedly helped iron out their differences on major issues.


Situation in the Kashmir valley

Jammu and Kashmir has seen a series of violent protests since July 2016, following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. The ensuing violence has seen a number of clashes between civilians and security forces.

Security forces have had to use measures including use of pellet guns for crowd control, which have rendered a number of youth blind, drawing heavy criticism.

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What has happened so far?

BJP and PDP have vouched for a hard and soft approach respectively, with handling the violence in Kashmir.

PDP also accused BJP of "open cheating" after BJP won three seats out of six in the state legislative council elections; PDP wanted each of its allies to have two. This had happened after independent candidate and PDP supporter Zanskar Hussain cross voted for BJP.


BJP stance on the issue

A senior BJP Minister noted that youth throwing stones in Kashmir should be dealt with bullets.

BJP spokesperson Ram Madhav defended Army's use of human shield stating "all is fair in love and war".

The RSS mouthpiece, Organiser, questioned CM Mehbooba Mufti's resolve to solve the issue.

Centre informed the SC on Friday it would only negotiate with legally recognized entities, i.e. political parties.

Sky is the limit

Former PM P V Narasimha Rao had noted, "sky is the limit" on discussing the Kashmir's autonomy. Later, Atal Bihari Vajpayee laid out three principles for resolving the Kashmir issue : "Insaaniyat (Humanism), Jamhooriyat (Democracy) and Kashmiriyat ( Kashmir's multiculturalism)".


PDP stance on the issue

PDP immediately wants to reduce the number of casualties and wants the security forces to exercise maximum restraint.

It deplored the incident when the army strapped a civilian to its vehicle as a human shield, sparking an open war of words with BJP.

Senior leader, Bukhari further notes, the centre's refusal to negotiate with separatists equates to suppression of dissent in democracy.


What could happen now?

What could happen now?

As a violent conflict, the situation in Kashmir valley is extremely complex. All options should be kept open to resolve the same. On that note, the centre needs to negotiate with all stakeholders rather than only legal stakeholders.

Incendiary statements at this time equate to adding fuel to a burning fire. It has further soured BJP-PDP relations deteriorating centre-state co-ordination hindering dispute resolution.

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