New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir needs a coalition of regional parties to keep out the BJP, the CPI-M's lone legislator in the state says, however adding that he doesn't expect this to happen anytime soon.
Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami said his party always knew that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition was "an alliance of opportunists". "Their so-called 'Agenda of Alliance' or 'common minimum programme' was merely a façade to gain power," Tarigami told IANS over the telephone amid continuing political impasse in the state.
"Now, after (Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed) Sayeed's demise, they are finding it difficult to re-enforce the alliance as the PDP-BJP combine has no common ground to rule, their agenda is ambiguous," said the long-time legislator from Kulgam in south Kashmir.
Ever since her father Mufti Sayeed died in early January, Jammu and Kashmir has been under Governor's Rule because PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti has refused to form a government with the BJP.
Speculation has it that the PDP and the BJP marriage has run into rough weather -- although no one says it in so many words. Opposition parties in the state, however, feel the two are indulging in a political drama.
The National Conference, the PDP's main foe in the Kashmir Valley, wants fresh elections. Tarigama disagrees.
"There is no need for fresh elections and waste taxpayers' money. The state leaders should set aside their minor differences and come together to form a strong government," he said. "They should look at the larger picture of the defeating divisive BJP-RSS policy in Kashmir."
The PDP and the BJP are the largest and second largest parties in splintered Jammu and Kashmir assembly. The National Conference and the Congress are in the third and fourth spots.
"If you look at it, they claimed to have come together to bridge the gap between the three regions of the state. They clearly failed to do that. Or else there wouldn't be a problem today to re-enforce the alliance."
Would the CPI-M, with just one member in the 87-seat assembly, support an alliance minus the BJP?
"Yes, but as of now no such thing seems likely to happen," he said.
"However, if the PDP decides to sever ties with BJP, regional parties can and definitely should come together for the greater good and form a secular and strong government in the state."
He said the Communist Party of India-Marxist would any day support a government that respects people's mandate and does not hurt the sentiments of any community.
Tarigami said Governor's Rule was no answer to Jammu and Kashmir's problems.
"Governors Rule means Centre's rule, in other words BJP's rule.
"The state has witnessed an unprecedented rise in incidents of communally driven violence (with the BJP pulling the strings). Jammu and Kashmir has no future with the BJP (in power).
"Babus cannot address the immediate concerns of the people. They (people) feel disconnected from the state machinery now," the veteran politician added.
Tarigami argued that he was sure the PDP and the BJP would finally shake hands to again rule the country's only Muslim-majority state.
"It won't be surprising for me that the PDP-BJP will form a government. These two parties have always played with people's sentiments. Their only aim is to gain power at any cost.
"I'm certain they will work out their so-called differences in the coming days to form a new government."
(Shamshad Ali can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)