BJP should push for 2002 Cong, PDP power sharing:Hari Om

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Reacting to the today’s election of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti as Leader of Legislature Party and the possibility of her taking over as Chief Minister of the sensitive state, Prof Hari Om on Thursday asked the BJP to take the nation into confidence about what ended the almost 3-month-old logjam over government formation so that it came to know if it had betrayed or not betrayed it as well as nationalist people of Jammu and Ladakh. He also asked the BJP to adopt the 2002 power-sharing formula under which the PDP and Congress formed coalition government on November 2, 2002 and Jammu got equal representation in the State Cabinet and Council of Ministers, saying BJP and PDP have equal strength in the assembly and Jammu region is two-time that of Kashmir and houses almost half of the state’s population.

“Jammu is not Kashmir’s colony. It is bigger than Kashmir. It contributes more revenue to the state exchequer. The office of Chief Minister can’t be the sole preserve of Kashmir. Jammu deserves the office of Chief Minister more than Kashmir as the latter ruled the state after October 1947 without any break and exploited the people of Jammu and Ladakh in a most brazen manner to establish its domination and hegemony over the state’s political, administrative, social and political institutions,” he said, adding that the BJP can’t punish people of Jammu region for their crime that they gave a massive mandate to it,” said Prof Hari Om. 

“The BJP had got mandate from Jammu on the nation and Jammu-centric planks in 2014 and had reassured the people of this grossly neglected and economically ignored region that BJP, if voted to power, would hand down a government that would undo the past wrongs committed by the earlier Kashmiri-dominated and Delhi-supported dispensations and dispense justice to them in all spheres and at all levels. Sadly, BJP betrayed both the people of Jammu region by surrendering all their rights and interests and accorded a dangerous legitimacy to the politics of secessionism by accepting many unsettling Kashmiri demands including demands seeking return of centrally-controlled power projects to J&K government, revocation of AFSPA, vacation of certain lands under occupation of the Army and initiation of trilateral talks between India, Pakistan and Kashmiri separatists to resolve the Kashmir issue,” said Prof Hari Om.

Prof Hari Om said that if BJP wanted to assuage the hurt feelings of the alienated people of Jammu region, it has to ensure that Jammu led the state government for half of the remaining period of five years and got equal representation not only in the all-powerful State Cabinet but also the Council of Ministers so that there is parity between the two regions at all levels and in all spheres.

“Even this would not do. Estranged people of Jammu regions may forgive the sins of BJP if it gets for them half of the portfolios with considerable political weight and considerable funds. They will not accept anything short of this. BJP also has to reassure them that it has not mortgaged the national interest for the sake of power by endorsing the Kashmiri sinister view that J&K is a political issue that needed a political solution acceptable to Pakistan and Kashmiri secessionists and votaries of Nizam-e-Mustafa,” Prof Hari Om further said, adding that people of Jammu region are watching with vigilance all the activities of BJP, as they have already taken cognizance of its spurious nationalism.

He expressed hope that BJP would learn from past mistakes and not take people of Jammu region for a ride.

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