The BJP’s decision to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was the party’s “mahamilawat”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday in an exclusive interview to Hindustan, a sister publication of Hindustan Times.
He said that when the 2014 assembly election results came, no one had an absolute majority and the BJP had thought that the National Conference (NC) and the PDP would join hands.
The BJP at that time did not have the numbers and the state had been under the governor’s rule for several months. In those elections, the PDP had won 28 seats, while the BJP had won 25 and the National Conference was far behind with 15 seats in its kitty, with the Congress coming in last with the least number of seats – 12 – in the 87-member state assembly.
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“At that time Mufti Mohammed Saeed was there. People of the state spoke to him. We openly said that ‘we are two poles’. In a way it was our ‘mahamilawat’. Because we had to form a government under democratic compulsions, we started working under the minimum common program. Mufti Saheb was experienced … so there were no problems,” he said.
The prime minister had in February used the term ‘mahamilawat’ as a dig at the mahagathbandhan of opposition parties. He was referring to the ‘United India’ rally of 23 opposition parties on January 19, that was organised in Kolkata by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
The Mufti Mohammeed Saeed-led PDP-BJP alliance’s government was sworn in on March 1, 2015, three months after the election results came out.
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Less than a year later, Mufti Mohammed Saeed died on January 7, 2016, while still in office.
Soon after Mufti Mohammed Saeed’s death, differences began cropping up between the BJP and the PDP.
Mehbooba Mufti was sworn in as the chief minister – the first woman chief minister of the state – three months later on April 4.
“After the demise of Mufti Saheb, Mehbooba Mufti had compulsions of the party and other problems. She was not ready to take the responsibility for several days. She took the responsibility after a long time. The government was formed. We wanted to conduct local elections, but she was not ready, she used to say that there would be bloodshed,” he said.
The BJP left the alliance “when Mehbooba did not conduct the elections”, he said.
“We focused on development. We have already said that whatever ‘mahamilawat’ is visible today was our ‘mahamilawat’ and whatever political damage it could do, it did,” he asserted.
Mehbooba Mufti resigned as the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir after the BJP pulled out of the alliance with the PDP on June 19, 2018. The state reverted to Governor’s rule and continues to be under the same.
Apr 06, 2021 10:51 IST