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Five crisis points in 100-days of PDP-BJP government

Suhas Munshi | Updated on: 14 June 2015, 14:52 IST

The PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir completed 100 days on June 8. The alliance has stayed afloat despite their contrasting ideologies and vote banks.

Here is a list of 5 issues that have threatened this alliance. These crisis points are not going to disappear and can keep the alliance precariously perched for its remaining term in office.

A thorn called Masarat Alam
Masarat Alam Jammu and Kashmir

Separatist leader Masarat Alam at home in Srinagar on March 9. Photo: Waseem Andrabi/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

While BJP and PDP have had their differences in their tenure so far, the issue of Masarat Alam's release stands out as quite unique. Such was the BJP's reaction that for a while it seemed that the alliance government will not survive.

Alam is believed to be the designated successor of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. He is alleged to have organised the anti-India protests in the Kashmir Valley in 2010 and is widely perceived by the Indian authorities to be a threat to law and order.

It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's personal intervention that ensured the survival of the alliance government as another Public Safety Act (PSA) case was registered against Alam.

He was put behind bars a little over a month after his release, enabling the PDP to save its government.

Removing AFSPA

The revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act from Jammu and Kashmir remains a contentious issue between the BJP and the PDP. The two parties have agreed that a security review will decide the fate of the controversial law in the state. The review is not expected to be completed any time soon so that it does not inconvenience either party.

However, some within PDP, including its chief spokesperson Mehbooba Mufti, have asked for a prompt revocation of AFSPA. Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's position, however, is that the Act is mandatory if the Army has to operate in the state.

Rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits

While Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed says that there is no plan to create separate enclaves for Kashmiri Pandits, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh claims that there is no going back on the issue of rehabilitating them in the Valley.

[twittable]Mufti Sayeed says there's no plan to create separate enclaves for Pandits, but BJP won't give up its demand[/twittable]

Several large-scale protests have been held in the Valley against the rehabilitation of Pandits. The PDP and BJP, both of which have their own vote banks to appease, remain starkly divided over the issue.

Flood relief

Relief to those affected by the floods of September 2014 remains a highly divisive issue between the PDP and the BJP. While they continue to bicker over the correct compensation package, the Opposition National Conference is targeting both for failing the people.

While former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had demanded a sum of Rs 44,000 crore as compensation immediately after the floods, Mufti Sayeed demanded only Rs 28,000 crore from the Centre. Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, who is from the BJP, claimed that a mere Rs 3,600 crore package was enough, prompting the PDP to openly criticise is ally.

Settlement of Pakistani refugees

Granting citizenship to refugees from Pakistan was one of the promises that the BJP made to its voters. The PDP, however, has been opposed to the idea right from the beginning. The question of Indian citizenship to Pakistani refugees is also linked to giving them the right to own and inherit property in the state - a right currently limited to 'State Subjects, i.e. those who were subjects of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir before its accession to India'.

Immediately after the alliance government was formed, a spokesperson of the PDP said that an agreement had been reached between the alliance partners over the status of the refugees - they would be granted citizenship but not be given the rights of State Subjects.

However, BJP president Amit Shah, on a recent visit to Jammu, promised permanent and full citizenship rights to the refugees - presumably including the right to own and inherit property -- within six months.

First published: 14 June 2015, 14:52 IST
Suhas Munshi @suhasmunshi

He hasn't been to journalism school, as evident by his refusal to end articles with 'ENDS' or 'EOM'. Principal correspondent at Catch, Suhas studied engineering and wrote code for a living before moving to writing mystery-shrouded-pall-of-gloom crime stories. On being accepted as an intern at Livemint in 2010, he etched PRESS onto his scooter. Some more bylines followed in Hindustan Times, Times of India and Mail Today.