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Exclusive: “The clear-cut one-point agenda of the alliance was to protect 35A”- Tanvir Sadiq

Arti Ghargi

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35A

“This government would form with a definitive cause, definite agenda that we will protect 35A,” Tanvir Sadiq said.

 

 

A political turbulence hit the Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday. In the last 24 hours, a lot transpired in the conflict-ridden state, from NC-PDP-Congress joining hands to form the government in the state to governor dissolving the assembly after not receiving Mehbooba Mufti’s letter due to “broken” fax machine.

While the governor today tried to justify his moves citing the possibility of an unstable alliance, the three parties termed his actions as a subversion of democracy.

As the political uncertainty looms over the Jammu and Kashmir we talk to Tanvir Sadiq, advisor to National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah.

Here are the excerpts:

 

Governor Satya Pal Malik had said that he did not receive the letter from Mehbooba Mufti because his fax machine was broken. Isn’t that a strange reason to not receive a letter?

 

“It is very funny and strange and it is even amusing. The fact that he could then send the dissolution letter through the same fax. So it has to be a very different fax which doesn’t receive a letter but can send the dissolution letter. I mean this is as amusing as it can get. The fact that he has taken oath on the second day of Eid, which was a holiday. When he came to Kashmir, he took oath on the Eid itself. So how today that everything else was there except that he didn’t receive the letter?”

 

National Conference had always demanded the dissolution of the assembly. Is it just a coincidence that the day NC-PDP-Congress were deliberating on an alliance, the announcement came from the governor?

 

“No. It is not a coincidence. It is a deliberate attempt. We had asked for the dissolution of the assembly for last five months and we’ve been vehemently demanding it. It looks like he did read the letter, he knew that there was a combination of three political parties, we had the numbers, we were close to around 56 and it was open in the media that we have sent the letter. In spite of that, he did not receive the letter. This itself means that there was something behind it. There was a trust deficit, as somebody said, that increased with this incident.”

 

You mentioned that there was something behind the governor’s hasty decision. Do you think there was pressure from the Centre?

 

“Of course. There is no denying that there was pressure from the centre.  In his statement, he said he had some apprehensions about horse trading. Now coming back to the point, the National Conference has 15 MLAs, Congress has 12 MLAs and PDP has 29 MLAs who were elected. Together we had a simple majority. There was another party, backed by the BJP which did not have the members but they were still claiming to have the numbers. The governor himself has to first investigate where does the money come from, who were being purchased and who all MLAs were involved? Because we had a clear majority, but the other party didn’t.”

“He said that the alliance would be unstable. But all the alliances are unstable. Isn’t it a fact that in the past the NDA, the UPA had cobbled a lot of parties together and had formed the government. It was not new that happened in Jammu and Kashmir.”

“Certainly there was some pressure on the governor to ensure that this government does not get formed. Because this government would form with a definitive cause, definite agenda that we will protect 35A.”

 

The National Conference demanded the dissolution of the assembly for 5 months. Then why did the party agree to give an unconditional support to the PDP?

 

“There are two-three reasons. One was the mess that was created by the people who were backed by the BJP. The bureaucracy and many other things were being dictated by some members who were claiming to form the government anytime soon. Secondly, 35A was scheduled for hearing in January. So we wanted a joint, strong counsel which would defend the official status of the Jammu and Kashmir. Previously, the standing counsel of the state government in his statement said that ‘This can be debated’. It meant that the state was not concerned about the special status. That is why it was clear-cut one-point agenda to protect 35A and even the National Conference said that we will support the government from outside. It is a clear agenda and not about anything else. After the hearing, we will decide on the continuance. However, the fact is we wanted to protect the special status was the reason we wanted this government to come in.”

 

If the assembly elections are conducted in the state, will the National Conference contest (given the party had boycotted civic polls)?

 

“We have been very clear that we will not boycott the assembly elections. Because the government of the time related the civic elections with 35A, we boycotted the elections. And for the same 35A, we wanted a strong government to defend it in the Supreme Court. Now that it is not, we will come back because National Conference has got some very renowned lawyer to defend article 35A. Hopefully, when the next government comes in the state, they will defend it more strongly too.”

 

Has BJP failed the Kashmir?

 

“Of course, they have. Even coming back to the status of 2014 would be a great task, leave the previous status of the state. But coming back to 2014 where assembly elections were held and people voted in 70%, the urban and rural population was voting, people were campaigning every nook and corner of the state. Today, you have a municipal election where you have to protect those people, huddle them into a hotel where people don’t even know who is the candidate. You see, where we have come. They have not only failed but they have taken us back to what it was in the 90s.”

 

If the situation in Kashmir is so worse, how will be the people’s response if assembly elections are held?

 

“We had Panchayat elections and thankfully there were no killings taking place. So now we are hopeful that assembly elections and parliament elections, in case, can be held together. It looks like that. It is for the state government than to ensure peaceful elections. But the truth is, any government that comes to power after the elections would have a herculean task to get back things to normal and bring a semblance of normalcy in place.”

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HW Live from Ground Zero Ayodhya: Hearing it straight from the on-ground priest there

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Is it the ‘Dharmniti’ or the inherent ‘Rajneeti that is on cards around the Ram temple issue in Ayodhya that is burning with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray visiting the city?

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Exclusive: Senior BJP leader Seshadri Chari calls Ram Madhav “Political novice” for his comment on J&K alliance.

Arti Ghargi

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chari

Chari said that a meeting between Congress leader Manish Tewari and National Conference VP Omar Abdullah took place in London where he was also present.

 

Senior BJP leader and party’s National Executive Member Seshadri Chari said that terming the NC-PDP-Congress alliance in J&K a Pakistan plot is “laughable”. He was commenting on the statement made by BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir in-charge Ram Madhav. Chari further called Madhav a “political novice” for not being able to estimate the alliance in making in the state.

On Wednesday, the dissolution of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly has fuelled a political fire in the state. While the PDP, NC and Congress accused the BJP government at the Centre of pressurizing the governor, BJP’s national general secretary Ram Madhav alleged that the PDP and NC had received “instructions from across the border” for the alliance.

Talking to Sujit Nair, managing editor of HW News, Chari said that a meeting between Congress leader Manish Tewari and National Conference VP Omar Abdullah took place in London where he was also present. Noting that the idea of alliance came up for a discussion, he said, “I suggested to Omar Abdullah that if BJP and PDP can form a government in the best interest of Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference and BJP can also form the government.”

Chari further shared an anecdote that Omar Abdullah was Minister of States in the NDA-I government under Vajpayee. He said that Mehbooba Mufti’s father Mufti Mohammed Sayeed served as a Home Minister of India and BJP-PDP alliance ruled the Jammu and Kashmir for three years. “Was it Pakistan which told Vajpayee to take Omar Abdullah as a minister? When PDP and BJP formed a government, did they go to Pakistan and ask?

Criticizing the governor’s statement that opposing ideologies won’t be able to give a stable government, Chari recalled the BJP-PDP alliance. “They (BJP and PDP) have opposing ideologies. So any party forming a coalition with BJP is good, nationalist. But if you form a government without BJP, you are anti-national. To say this is unacceptable and unethical,” Chari said.

Sharing some insights from the London meeting, Chari said that Omar Abdullah ruled out the possibility of forming the government with BJP. “Omar Abdullah said we cannot form the government with the BJP, but that does not mean we cannot form a government with PDP,” Chari recalled. Abdullah even said that NC is prepared to support PDP in the interest of Jammu and Kashmir. Chari mentioned that he suspected that the NC-PDP-Congress alliance is in the making. “We (BJP) should have been a little more alert,” Chari said.

When asked why Ram Madhav was not aware of this, he said, “If somebody decides to be a political novice, we can do nothing about it.” However, he promptly added that it was not the party’s official stand. Answering the question ‘when can one is considered talking for himself or the party’, Chari said that any person that identifies with BJP should be more frugal and careful in his utterances. “Especially about the state, political parties which are in a sensitive zone,” he added.

We tried to reach Ram Madhav for his comment. However, he did not respond to our calls. This story will be updated when he responds.

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Was Pakistan behind J&K coalition? “Nonsense” says Seshadri Chari

Sujit Nair

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It was yesterday that Mehbooba Mufti stake claim to form government in the state with support from the Congress and National Conference. Ms Mufti has tweeted a letter that she has been trying to send to Governor Satya Pal Malik, which states that since she is not is Srinagar currently, she will soon be meeting him to stake the claim for forming the government in the state. On the other hand, it was Ram Madhav of BJP who termed the reports of NC, PDP and Congress unethical and said, it was Pakistan that was invoking the Jammu and Kashmir coalition. Was he right in saying this? Mr. Sujit Nair, Managing Editor of HW News Network and Mr. Seshadri Chari, Senior BJP Leader and Geo-Political Expert share their takes on the matter in this Exclusive video.

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