It appears to me that both parties - PDP and BJP - have formed the government with NOT the intention of running a stable organization but preparing the ground-work of next election. And which can happen anytime over next 6 months to 12 months. Each one will attempt to play a narrative opposite to other to please their constituency. Here is my take on the situation:
(1) PDP will use the position of CM to under-take acts which will burnish it's position as the only option which can accommodate the interests of the separatist elements. It will move fast to make best out of the time available (and before BJP reaches break-point). Expect it to concentrate on high-visibility actions which help it to demonstrate its intent and strengthen its position.
The act of releasing master-mind of 2010 stone-pelting and asking for Afzal Guru's remains fall in this category. With each such action, it will test the BJP resolve and increase space for itself in the J&K Government which will at the expense of BJP. The moment BJP withdraws out of the government (and it will at some time given the antics), PDP will lay the blame at door of BJP.
However, we must understand one thing very clearly here: That PDP is not contesting against BJP for seats/power in Kashmir. It is contesting with NCP for the same. So, all the actions by PDP are to steal a march over NCP in the 'separatism' departments.
(2) It would be interesting to look at 2014 election numbers and vote percentage share. Please do go through this:http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-12-24/news/57376547_1_vote-share-bjp-mp-jammu-kashmir
- All PDP seats are in North and South Kashmir with one seat in Muslim dominated Jammu and two in Hindu dominated Jammu. NCP had 12 and Congress 4 seats. With 5 going to others.
- As against this, BJP has all seats in Jammu; bulk are from Hindu dominated Jammu (48%+ vote-share) and 3 from Muslim dominated Jammu. It had drawn blank in Ladakh - this mean Ladakh BJP MP needs to do more and be more active. There are 4 seats in this region.
(3) Long story short - PDP aim is to take away Congress/NCP seats in Kashmir proper. Majority requires 44 seats, NCP has 28 and needs 16 more seats. Congress and NCP between them have 27 seats of which 16 are in Valley, 6 in Muslim dominated Jammu, 2 in Hindu dominated Jammu and 3 in Ladakh.
So, NCP will target seats in Valley and Muslim dominated parts of Jammu. But that would be a tall order - Because if inspite of such devastating floods, NCP managed to get 15 seats with 20.8% vote-share, it indicates at a strong cadre on the ground.
(4) Rest assured, the shrills and decibel level will increase markedly in the Valley as PDP explores all avenues to effect a white-wash on opponents in next elections - for that it will have to prove that it has delivered. This is AAP redux as far as Valley is concerned.
(5) BJP has a very strong fight at it's hand and are against a wily politician in Mufti. Local BJP leadership does not seem like up to task to take him on - the burden will again fall on BJP central leadership.
Also, it is very very important that BJP is SEEN preserving the interests of its HINDU constituency in Jammu - it will have to put in place a counter-narrative to what PDP is doing. It has to emerge as the sole voice which can carry HINDU voice in Valley and try and maximize its seat+vote-share in Hindu dominated Jammu and some in Muslim dominated Jammu. Further, try and get seats in Ladakh.
Speed is of essence - BJP cannot be in reactionary mode and allow PDP/Mufti to set the agenda. I'm afraid there will be no honeymoon period here.