Even before Mufti Mohammad Sayed and his legislators have made their mind about any possible coalition to form the next government, there are clear signs of split with senior leader and former deputy chief Minster Muzaffar Hussain Beig publicly advocating an alliance with Bhartiya Janta Party,
Beig has already met BJP general secretary Ram Madhav and is trying hard to get the substantial chunk of PDP leaders to back his idea. Sources said Beig – who is currently a member of Lok Sabha – from North Kashmir’s Baramulla parliament seat has negotiated a cabinet berth for him in the Modi government at centre which will come as a reward for bringing PDP on board especially on terms favorable to BJP. Beig met Ram Madhav late last night and the meeting lasted for an hour.
Sources reveal that the reason Beig has a long term plan too. Even if PDP forms an alliance with the BJP and Mufti Mohammad Sayed becomes chief minister, the survival of this alliance between these political and ideological opponents will always have a serious chance of a breakup. This is where sources say Beig can emerge as a serious contender for chief minister’s post to keep BJP in power with a strong section of PDP rebels.
While Beig, two other top PDP leaders Mehbooba Mufti and Tariq Hamid Kara are in the parliament, it is highly unlikely that Mufti Mohammad Sayed will bring any of them back to join the state government if PDP joins any possible alliance. Sources say that in case PDP joins Congress in an alliance or agrees to NC offer at the coalition, there will be no place for Beig in the state govt.
Beig, who contested his first election from Baramulla in 70’S in Baramulla town couldn’t even secure enough votes to get elected to local Municipal Committee. He then joined Peoples Conference formed by late Abdul Gani Lone in 1979 and became its vice president, later he unsuccessfully contested parliament and assembly elections from Baramulla. After militancy broke out in Kashmir, Beig went in hibernation only to surface in 1998 elections from Baramulla. He secured 93,179 votes as an independent candidate in parliament elections.
Sources said that the time when most of the Kashmiri politicians shield away from contesting elections; Beig was close to certain quarters in New Delhi was encouraged by them to contest elections and also received massive funding for creating political atmosphere in the Valley. Later he joined PDP and became one of its founding members. In 2002, Beig contested elections from Baramulla assembly seat on a PDP ticket and won, he was senior minister in the PDP- Congress coalition government and when chief minister-ship was handed over to Congress he became the deputy chief minister of the state. Those who are close to Beig say that his only two political ambitions to become- Union Minister and to head the J&K state as chief minister are yet to be realized and for that he could use his political acumen.
Beig isn’t only leader in PDP who looks at PDP – BJP alliance as a flip to personnel political rise. Newly elected legislator from Rajpora constituency Haseeb Drabu who is tipped to be state’s next finance minister in case PDP forms the government, sources say is also in favor of an alliance with the BJP as he thinks by cobbling an alliance with BJP the state will get massive funding and he could emerge as successful finance minister.
Sources say that in PDP there are some legislators who say that party should form government in any case as they have received the mandate to rule the state, however, majority of the newly elected legislators are averse of forming the government with BJP as it may decimate the party’s performance in the Valley in future. So PDP leadership or legislators are maintained silence, however, the parties Legislative Party Meeting will be held next week and then only party will take an official stand whether to forge an alliance with BJP, Congress or National Conference. Meanwhile, PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayed has conveyed party leaders and legislators not to speak on the issue.