December 2016 News

After Rift, BJP Plans To Revive Coordination Panel

10 December 2016
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Dinesh Manhotra

Jammu: The PDP-BJP coalition government has failed to revive the Coordination Committee - constituted during the regime of late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed - to iron out the differences on the contentious issues and set the 'Agenda of Alliance'. After Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti walked out of the Cabinet meeting on Friday, it has become clear that the 'uncomfortable' alliance - between the two parties having diametrically opposite ideologies - lacks consensus on important issues. Highly placed sources said that neither the PDP leadership nor the state BJP unit had taken any serious initiative to restructure the coordination committee which had became defunct after restitching of the alliance between the two parties in April this year. It was only when a rift emerged between the two parties during Friday's Cabinet meeting that the BJP is now showing seriousness to revive the defunct coordination committee. 'Soon we will take the initiative to reconstitute the Coordination Committee which was functional during the tenure of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed,' said state BJP president Sat Sharma. He admitted that the committee was a must to arrive at a consensus on contentious issues before taking the same into the Cabinet meeting. After the formation of the PDP-BJP government headed by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on March 1, 2015, the Coordination Committee was constituted on March 28, 2015, to evolve a consensus on important issues. During Mufti Sayeed's tenure, the committee met nearly half a dozen times and discussed many issues and set the agenda for the government. The 10-member committee was headed by Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh. The other members of the committee included Mehbooba Mufti (then the PDP president), Jugal Kishore Sharma (then BJP state president), Muzaffar Hussain Baig, Tariq Hamid Karra and Thusptan Chhewang (all Lok Sabha members), Shamsher Singh, Rajya Sabha member, Choudhary Lal Singh, Abdul Rehman Veeri and Naeem Akhter (all Cabinet ministers). After Mufti Sayeed's death on January 7, 2016, the committee ceased to exist because on April 4, Mehbooba Mufti took over as the Chief Minister of the state. Furthermore, Tariq Hamid Karra, who was the PDP's representative in the committee, has already resigned from the Lok Sabha and the party. After the Friday episode, the BJP seems to be serious about reconstituting the defunct panel so that such episode does not reoccur in the Cabinet meeting. As reported on Friday, Mehbooba walked out of the Cabinet meeting following opposition from some of the ministers to a proposal to restructure the Kashmir Police Service cadre. BJP ministers, including Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, had objected to the proposal, saying that the DIGs and IGs are IPS officers and no one can be promoted to this level unless inducted into the IPS.