MLAs lament Guv’s directions
JAMMU, Aug 9: BJP national general secretary and party’s pointman on Jammu and Kashmir, Ram Madhav was on a two-day visit to the Kashmir valley during which he reviewed political developments in Jammu and Kashmir including possibility of Government formation in the State, which was under Governor’s rule since June 20 after BJP withdrew support to Mehbooba Mufti led Government.
Senior BJP leaders from the State remained in hectic consultations with Madhav during the last two days and confirmed that number of MLAs from breakaway group of the PDP wanted the BJP to take initiative to explore possibilities to form new Government in Jammu and Kashmir to end the Governor’s rule.
Though officially the BJP leaders maintained that Ram Madhav reviewed party’s strategy for Municipal, Panchayat and Kargil elections with selected party leaders, insiders confirmed to the Excelsior that breakaway group of the PDP was in touch with the BJP over Government formation.
Though no breakaway MLA of the PDP formally met Ram Madhav in Kashmir, sources attributed this to former Chief Minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s allegation that New Delhi (a reference to the BJP) was using the National Investigating Agency (NIA) to break the PDP MLAs.
“Apart from senior BJP leaders, Madhav also met People’s Conference chairman Sajjad Ghani Lone, who was Social Welfare Minister in the PDP-BJP coalition Government headed by Mehbooba Mufti from the BJP quota,” sources confirmed. It may be mentioned here that Lone has been in forefront in formation of new Government in the State though his party has only two MLAs.
Madhav was also reported to have met one of the Advisors of the Governor.
According to sources, the BJP doesn’t want to openly explore possibilities of the Government formation in Jammu and Kashmir as it will amount to sending message of engineering defections in the political parties. In view of this, the BJP leaders avoided direct meeting with the PDP breakaway group but sources confirmed that the party leaders were in touch with them and things might become clear after conclusion of annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji shrine.
Former Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta, former Ministers Rajiv Jasrotia, Bali Bhagat, Sunil Sharma and Sat Sharma besides party veteran leader, Dr Narinder Singh met Ram Madhav at the residence of Kavinder Gupta in Srinagar.
The BJP leaders were of the view that political activities have been stalled by Governor NN Vohra by stopping their Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and preventing them from official inaugurations of projects.
They complained that earlier also, Jammu and Kashmir was under spell of Governor’s rule from January 7, 2016 to April 4, 2016 after the sudden demise of then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed but the political activities had never stopped.
“On the one hand, we are talking of holding Panchayat and Municipal elections to restore democracy at grass roots level and, on the other, the Governor has rendered the MLAs powerless,” they complained to Ram Madhav.
Sources were of the view that the BJP national general secretary was likely to pay another visit to the State by the end of this month when Shri Amarnath Ji yatra would conclude to draw future political roadmap in Jammu and Kashmir, where nearly two and half years were still left for end of the Legislative Assembly’s term.
Some of the BJP leaders exuded confidence that there could be a new Government in place though officially the party stuck to its stand that it wants Governor’s rule to continue for some time.
BJP national president Amit Shah had recently stated that the party was not trying to break any group.
According to sources, Madhav directed the party leaders to ensure that the BJP wins maximum number of seats in Municipal and Panchayat elections and there is greater participation of electorates in both the polls.