On 14 April this year, while addressing a rally in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a jibe at the families of former chief ministers, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah. "Abdullah family and Mufti family destroyed lives of three generations of J&K,” he said. “The bright future of J&K can be ensured only after their departure.”
In response, Mufti pointed out that the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party had earlier entered a political alliance with her party, the People’s Democratic Party. “Why does PM bash political families pre-elections and then send his envoys to stitch alliances with the very same parties?” she said. The BJP became a part of the state government for the first time in 2015, when it partnered with the PDP. The alliance broke down in June 2018, leading to governor’s rule in the state.
In the following extract from “The Collaborator,” The Caravan’s January 2016 cover story, Praveen Donthi traced the political journey of the PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the origins of the party, and its alliance with the BJP. He reported on the view that the PDP, formed in 1999, was a creation of the National Democratic Alliance government, launched to fill the need of a “pro-India party.” Sayeed had the credentials of being the first Muslim home minister of India. One theory about “the genesis of the PDP,” he wrote, is that “the BJP government funded and supported the PDP to prop up opposition to the National Conference.” The “purported reason for this move,” was that the NC leader “Farooq Abdullah was becoming an inconvenience to the centre.”