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Will BJP blink?

Will BJP blink?
Highlights

Will BJP blink? The BJP has formally announced that it is negotiating with PDP on government formation in Jammu & Kashmir. No stable government is possible without the participation of BJP following the fractured verdict.

The BJP has formally announced that it is negotiating with PDP on government formation in Jammu & Kashmir. No stable government is possible without the participation of BJP following the fractured verdict. The State cannot be kept under suspended animation for too long time. Meanwhile, the Delhi drubbing seems to be driving the BJP towards a power sharing arrangement with PDP in this crucial state even as it amounts to a huge compromise on its long-held ideological positions.

Understanding the political predicament in which the BJP has now landed, the PDP has hardened its stand. The PDP has put several conditions for BJP to arrive at a deal. These demands include reconciliation talks with Pakistan, and even the Hurriyat separatists, phasing out of the controversial Armed Forces Special powers Act (AFSPA) etc. The PDP says the Article 370 should not be touched. For its part, the BJP wants reorganisation of constituencies, so that the Jammu region would get more seats. This would politically benefit the party in the future.

The BJP is facing many irritants from its allies in the recent past. Shiva Sena has publicly attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Delhi disaster. The PMK gave a big jolt to the BJP‘s efforts to build an alternate front in Tamil Nadu. Its leader Ramadoss exhorted the party cadre to emulate Aravind Kejriwal and reach out to every voter in the state in the run-up to the Assembly elections in the state. The efforts to rope in TRS receive a strong resistance from within the BJP. The party will find it difficult to have both TRS and TDP in its team. It is not an opportune time for the party to choose between the two.

Internal dissensions have started surfacing with the signs of the party’s waning popularity. Haryana Health Minister sarcastically twitted anger over the functioning of CM who is the nominee of Modi. Kiran Bedi said that she had not lost, but, the BJP should introspect.

Meanwhile, the re-emergence of Janata Pariwar is giving many anxious moments for BJP especially in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Its attempts to split Janata Dal (United) seem to be falling apart. Mamata Banerjee remains invincible in West Bengal at least for now. However, friendly gestures from Sharad Pawar’s NCP and TRS are a solace to BJP.

Given this political landscape, BJP is desperate to increase the number of States where it is in power or shares power. Coming to power even in a partnership deal in the strategically important state like J&K has both symbolic and substantive value for BJP in national politics. However, there are many last mile hurdles to cross. But, any such deal is not without inherent contradiction that makes it vulnerable.

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