Hidden Agenda – Another favor from PDP to BJP, Abstains from voting for Rajya Sabha VC

In a move to favour the old ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Tuesday decided to abstain from voting in the election for the post of Vice Chairman in Rajya Sabha.
PDP chief spokesperson, Rafi Ahmad Mir said PDP has decided to abstain from voting for the election of the post of Rajya Sabha Vice Chairman.
He said party president Mehbooba Mufti directed PDP’s Rajya Sabha members to abstain after holding consultations with senior party leaders.
“A whip has been issued by the party in this regard,” Mir said.
The BJP-headed National Democratic Alliance at New Delhi is facing a tough challenge in the elections as the opposition led by Congress has the support of 117 members including erstwhile BJP ally Telugu Desam Party’s (TDP) members.
Meanwhile, BJP enjoys the support of 106 members, including that of 14 AIADMK members.
The Biju Janata Dal with nine members and TRS with six members have been maintaining equal distance from both the BJP and the Congress and are yet to decide which way to go.
The abstaining of PDP from voting would favour BJP as the opposition will be deprived of the two votes of PDP members Nazir Laway and Fayaz Ahmad Mir.
Last month PDP had also supported the BJP led government when its lone member in the Lok Sabha, Muzaffar Hussain Baig abstained from voting on a no-confidence motion against the government brought in by TDP.
PDP’s tacit support to BJP is seen as a part of the strategy to keep the options open on a future alliance.
National Conference General Secretary, Ali Muhammad Sagar said behind the curtains, PDP and BJP were still together and all the differences portrayed by them publicly were for political posturing only.
He said by not voting, PDP was directly favouring the NDA in general and BJP in particular while blowing the trumpet of pro-Kashmir agenda in the Valley.
“There is a backchannel understanding which we can’t see between the two,” the NC general secretary said. “PDP president’s statement of ‘drinking a cup of poison’ after allying with BJP is a hoax.”
He said even out of power, PDP did not want to rub the BJP the wrong way.
State Congress chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir said principally PDP are BJP were two sides of the same coin.
He said PDP was the only party in the country which sought votes from Muslims and then allied with BJP for power.
“Even Shiv Sena sometimes differs and speaks against BJP but PDP is the part and parcel of BJP,” he said.
He said abstaining from voting means to vote for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The election to post of Chairman of Rajya Sabha scheduled for August 9 was necessitated after P J Kurien of the Congress retired from the position on July 2.
The election is seen as a key test for the Congress as it looks to retain the position.
While the Congress has indicated that it was ready to back a non-Congress candidate from the opposition, the left parties are agreeable to a candidate from the Trinamool Congress, which is said to be keen to have its MP as a joint candidate.
The YSRCP, with two seats, has decided to vote against the BJP candidate.
Meanwhile, NDA that does not have the required numbers in the upper house is keen to have a candidate of its choice for the position.
While BJP is the single-largest party in the House, it falls short of the magical number – 112 – required to win the election by a simple majority.