Hinting at going ahead with BJP in government formation, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said her late father Mufti Sayeed’s decision to have the alliance with the saffron party was like a “will” to be fufilled by his children even if they get “consumed” while doing so.
Mehbooba, seen as successor to Sayeed as Chief Minister, said her father’s decision to ally with BJP was “patther ki lakeer (something carved in stone)” and “I stand by his word”.
At the same time, she maintained that forward movement on implementation of the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ by the BJP-led central government is a pre-requisite for government formation
in Jammu and Kashmir which is under Governor’s Rule since January 8.
“I want to make one thing clear, that it (alliance with BJP) is a decision taken by Sayeed and I respect it. When a father makes a ‘will’ to his children, it’s their responsibility to fulfill that ‘will’ even if they get consumed while doing so,” the PDP leader said.
“For me, the decision of my father is ‘Patther ki lakeer’,” she told party workers at Kupwara in north Kashmir.
Mehbooba said the decision of Sayeed to form an alliance government with BJP and “to shake hands with the government at the Centre was for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, to maintain unity of the state, and for peace and development.”
However, there is another aspect of that decision that it was aimed at benefiting the people of the state through implementation of the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ chalked out between the two parties, she said.
“The ‘Agenda of Alliance’ which they (his father and BJP) chalked out is also very important just like Mufti Sahib’s word,” she said.
Mehbooba said she would form the government only if she feels that the dreams of her father would be fulfilled.
“I will sit on the chair only if I feel I will fulfil the dreams of Sayeed for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The chair is needed for the people of the state, not for myself. If I will get the chair just for myself and my family, then I don’t need it as I don’t have such ambitions. “If I had such an ambition, I would have taken the chair during the lifetime of my father,” she said.
Later talking to reporters, Mehbooba said, “I anyway don’t want to reinforce the stereotype that we Kashmiris are not true to our word. My father was true to his word and I stand by his word.”
The state has been under Governor’s Rule for last two months as Mehbooba has not staked claim to form the government after the demise of her father, then Chief Minister, on January 7.
She has been maintaining suspense over continuation of the alliance with BJP, a party with which PDP ran a coalition government for 10 months under Sayeed.
Mehbooba went on to add, “But where he forged an alliance,entered into a relation with the BJP and NDA, there is an Agenda of Alliance as well… We have agreed upon a programme
which needs some forward movement. When that forward movement happens, I will also move towards accomplishing the goals set by Mufti Sahib.”
She said she was not making any fresh demands of BJP. The PDP president recalled her father’s emphasis on dialogue for resolution of issues, saying it was the only way for ensuring peace in the state and the region.
“This vehicle is on two wheels. If one is to form the government, other has the responsibility to fulfill the requirements. I am not making any demand of BJP. This is not an issue concerning BJP or PDP, it is an issue concerning the people of the state and what the Centre is going to do for the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” she added.
PDP has 27 MLAs in the 87-member Assembly while BJP has 25 members.