Stick to mandate
The decision by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to ally with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) despite their ideological differences was linked to one basic reality: the people of Jammu had given an unambiguous mandate to the BJP and those in the valley had opted for the PDP. Any other combination of parties would not have provided a representative government.
Sayeed’s unfortunate demise on 7 January queered the political pitch, but the basic reality still remains the same. Ignoring this, as his daughter Mehbooba Mufti is doing by demanding new assurances from the BJP-led Union government, is not helping the cause of the people of the state. Her demand for selective withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act may have some rationale, but shouldn’t be used for political brinkmanship. The state is yearning for better governance; Mehbooba Mufti should be ready to deliver that.