Mufti Feeling ‘Let Down & Caged’: Baig

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Says, PDP-BJP Govt. unlikely to complete full term

SRINAGAR: Casting doubts about the stability of the PDP-BJP coalition led by Mufti Muhammad Sayeed Senior Peoples Democratic Party leader and MP Muzaffar Hussain Baig has said Chief Minister feels “let down and caged” and that’s why he was not acting freely.

“I don’t think it (Coalition Govt.) will complete its term. But it can complete six years if it adopts some corrective measures. After all, a man is not dead till he is dead. If God forbid, this experiment fails, it will be a cruel joke on the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Baig told Mumbai based ‘The Economic Times’ newspaper. 

Baig’s comments come less than four months after PDP patron Mufti Sayeed assumed office after stitching an unlikely alliance with the BJP. 

Baig, a former No. 2 in the party, is among the senior PDP leaders that have been sidelined in the current dispensation. 

Baig was the first PDP leader to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi before the declaration of last year assembly election results.

Earlier another senior party leader and MP Tariq Hameed Karra had issued a flurry of statements indicating that “Not all was well” within the coalition.

Expressing doubt over longevity of the Mufti government, Baig told ET, “Mufti sahib asked me for some suggestions on certain issues. I suggested a few things but probably he forgot. Maybe he is too worried or feels let down. Maybe he feels betrayed or even caged (by people around him),” Baig added.

Baig pointed out that in Kashmir, BJP is equated with RSS and RSS is equated with communalism.

“So, therefore, there is a greater burden for this government to discharge. It requires greater sensitivity, commitment and tact on both sides,” he said.

Baig also reveals that he had prepared a ‘Working Document for PDP-BJP Coalition’ in last December before the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ was drafted. “But the document was never given to the BJP.”

According to him, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sayeed should have met directly to make the alliance more workable.

Expressing his reservations about the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ document, Baig said that “it was not only ambiguous and unclear but also without any signatures.” “If agenda of alliance was agreed upon, why has it not been acted upon?” he said.

Baig launched an indirect but scathing attack on state finance minister Haseeb Drabu and blamed him for his “unnecessary, provocative statements and giving false dreams to people of Jammu and Kashmir”.

It should be recalled that Baig was one of the key architects of PDP-BJP coalition in the state although he is feeling marginalized in the party of late.

Signifying bitterness over the functioning of the government earlier Tariq Karra had asked his party to “rethink over its alliance with the BJP”.

A day after the Union Government announced Rs 1,667 crore package for relief and reconstruction work for the flood-ravaged Kashmir, Karra had said, “the ‘so-called’ flood-relief package announced by the Government of India amounts to rubbing salt on the wound of Kashmiris.” 

He later called upon the State’s political executive to come forward with the much-needed assertion of authority on issues pertaining to the sentiments of the people and ensure a turnaround in the security scenario and developmental scenario as was visible on the ground after 2002 elections.

 “Mufti Sahib asked me for some suggestions on certain issues. I suggested a few things but probably he forgot. Maybe he is too worried or feels let down. Maybe he feels betrayed or even caged (by people around him).

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