Won’t contest next election, if power projects not returned: Drabu

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Jan 1: Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu said today that the PDP-BJP Alliance was doing “remarkable well’’ and it will last full term even as he observed that several significant issues mentioned in ‘Agenda of Alliance’ of the two parties have been fulfilled in less than half of the term of the Government.
In an interview to the Excelsior, Dr Drabu said the Alliance between the two parties has been working well with both the partners showing lot of maturity.
“The BJP leadership in New Delhi as well as Jammu and Kashmir and the PDP leadership in the State have been showing lot of maturity and working with great responsibility. Unlike the previous coalition Governments, the present Alliance is firmly in place despite ‘ideological differences’ between the two parties. The coalition will complete its full term of six years,’’ he said.
Asserting that it would be too early to take a view on whether the PDP and BJP will contest 2019 Lok Sabha and 2020 Assembly elections together, the Finance Minister, however, maintained that comfort level between the two parties is very high despite grave provocations from some quarters.
“Both sides now know each other very well,’’ he remarked.
Dr Drabu maintained that it was due to PDP-BJP Alliance that “extreme polarization’’ was not in Jammu and Kashmir.     “The BJP has been taking care of Jammu and the PDP Kashmir. Both have very good equations and the State is benefiting from the Alliance,’’ he asserted.
The Finance Minister, however, didn’t agree with general perception that incidents of stone pelting have gone down considerably in Kashmir due to demonetization.
“There seems to be no link between demonetization and stone pelting. But definitely, the stone pelting incidents stopped suddenly. I don’t see any link between the two but it is a fact that stone pelting stopped all of a sudden,’’ he added.
On implementation of ‘Agenda of Alliance’ reached between the two Alliance partners before forming the Government, Dr Drabu said a number of points mentioned in the Agenda have already been implemented.
“The talks have been started by the Centre through Special Representative Dineshwar Sharma. He has made it clear that he was ready to talk with Hurriyat Conference. The Prime Minister’s Development Package worth Rs 80,000 crores have come, Army has agreed to vacate some of the land for which process was on. Centaur Hotel is being returning. PoK refugees have been given package. Two AIIMS, two Smart Cities, five Medical Colleges have been given,’’ he said, adding that all this was part of the Agenda of Alliance.
Drabu expressed confidence that the Centre would also agree to return of power projects to Jammu and Kashmir, which was also part of the Agenda of Alliance.
“I will not contest the next election, if the power projects didn’t come. I’m quite confident, they will come. It is going to happen,’’ he said, adding that the State Government was projecting its case very forcefully.
“The left out Agenda of Alliance will also be implemented as there were still more than three years left for completion of the Government’s term,’’ Dr Drabu said.
Describing Dineshwar Sharma’s appointment as Centre Government’s Special Representative on Jammu and Kashmir as “good initiative’’, the Finance Minister said he has been visiting various parts of the State, meeting large number of people, taking their view point and was even ready to talk to Hurriyat Conference.
“The initiative would go a long way to address the issues,’’ he added.