Kashmiris want NC, PDP to join forces against BJP

Kashmiris want NC, PDP to join forces against BJP

While it is unclear who will form the government in Jammu and Kashmir after the poll results threw up a hung verdict, most of the people in the Valley hope the National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) unite “to keep the rightwing BJP at bay.”

Shuja Khan, a businessman from the volatile old city of Srinagar says it is high time that two Kashmir-centric parties join hands to halt the BJP juggernaut in J&K.  “A major reason for the high voter turnout in Kashmir was that people wanted to keep the BJP out of power and ensure a secular government in place. This is something that can’t be ignored,” he told Deccan Herald.

Khan’s view is reflected widely among Kashmiris. People in offices, malls and other public places talking about the consequences of a BJP government in the state. “There will be a revolt in Kashmir if the BJP imposes a chief minister from Jammu on us,” said Zahoor Ahmad, a university student.

“Kashmir has always been a place of Sufism and we will fight against all extremist forces, be they from India or Pakistan, who want to disturb the secular ethos of our state,” he warned. He said the PDP and NC “should eschew bitterness for the larger cause of people of Kashmir who have seen the worst in the past 25 years.”

“If they (NC and PDP) claim to be well wishers of Kashmiris they should unite against communal forces, otherwise all their assurances on people’s welfare are fake,” he added.

For Irshad Dar, a government employee, the verdict is “totally confusing and all political parties are feeling frustrated over government formation.” “There is of course a yearning for a secular government. Had Kashmiri people voted in favour of BJP, the party would have obviously won at least one or two seats (in the valley) which didn’t happen. The verdict may be fractured, but it is against BJP,” he said.
The PDP emerged as the single largest party by winning 28 seats while the BJP secured 25, NC 15 and Congress 12. The numbers have left the political parties in a quandary.

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