Kashmiri Pandits in refugee camps across the country erupted in spontaneous celebration at the news of a coalition agreement between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Mufti Muhammad Sayeed’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“Mufti Sahib will no doubt look take care of our interests as effectively as he did as Union Home Minister in 1990,” said Govind Kaul of Panun Kashmir, an organisation representing Kashmiri Pandits.
The BJP’s ideological allies expressed joy at the party’s deft political manoeuvres. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh journal Organiser contended that the alliance with the PDP was necessary to foil a “vicious self-rule” plan by Mufti Sayeed and his daughter Mehbooba “that aims at weakening state’s links with rest of country and ultimately realising the dream of an independent Kashmir”.
“The PDP has all along drawn strength from separatist elements. Now it will draw strength from nationalist elements.”
BJP President Amit Shah declared that his party had no interest, unlike its opportunistic rivals, in power for power’s sake: “We are ready to make any sacrifice to form a stable government, be it our core belief on removing Article 370 from the Constitution or our stand on retaining the Armed Forces Special Powers Act to protect our valiant soldiers.”