PDP, BJP coalition: Lure of power makes strange bedfellows, says Ram Madhav

PDP, BJP coalition: Lure of power makes strange bedfellows, says Ram Madhav

Srinagar: It was unimaginable that PDP and BJP would form an alliance in Jammu and Kashmir, but the lure of power has made the unthinkable happen, BJP’ national general secretary Ram Madhav has said.
“Frankly, not even once did we think of a situation where we would be joining hands with the PDP.
“Something that was unthinkable and unimaginable has happened…In politics, the lure of power sometimes makes strange bedfellows,” Madhav, who led the negotiations with the PDP for government formation, said in an article in a New Delhi-based daily.
Madhav has also maintained that it would have been “unholy” had PDP gone with Congress and National Conference.
“The J&K assembly elections have thrown up a difficult and complex verdict. Any government without BJP participation would have meant the exclusion of one full region of the state in the administration. Thus the options were restricted.”
Madhav also claimed that there were at least a couple of occasions when PDP-BJP almost decided to “call off the talks and pack up. It was like the proverbial war of nerves.”
“Where we have fundamental differences, we have admitted it honestly and given our prescription based on a common understanding—not necessarily consensus—of each other’s concerns.”
On AFSPA, one of the contention issues on which both parties at least publically held differing views, Madhav has vented out that final call on it lies with government of India.
“On AFSPA, the common minimum programme has left the onus of taking a final view on the Union government, while the state government would, for its part, examine the need for ‘denotifying disturbed areas’,” he said.
The partners, he said, have decided to work-out a “one-time settlement” for the refugees from Pakistan-administered Kashmir of 1947, ’65 and ’71.
“Measures will be taken to ensure that the (WPRs) who have been languishing in the state for almost 70 years, without their basic human needs being taken care of, will get sustenance and livelihood.
“A new dawn is breaking for millions of hapless refugees who will now get a ration card for the first time in their lives,” he said.
BJP-PDP CMP has restricted the wording to “take measures for sustenance and livelihood” on the WPRs.
On Article 370, Madhav said, “While recognising the different positions and appreciating the perceptions BJP and PDP have on the constitutional status of J&K, considering the political and legislative realities, the present position will be maintained on all the constitutional provisions pertaining to J&K, including the special status in the Constitution of India.”