Asem Mohiuddin New Delhi
On last Friday the senior BJP leader and Kashmir affairs incharge Ram Madhav put all speculations of government formation in state to the rest after showing his satisfaction with ongoing governor’s rule in state.
Madhav responded to the allegations of former chief minister Omar Abdullah who accused the party of horse trading to secure the majority for government formation in state after BJP pulled out of the PDP last month.
Madhav quickly responded to his tweet and said that they are satisfied with the imposition of governor’s rule in the larger interests of peace, security and prosperity of state. And they would like to continue it for some time.
Interestingly, over the last few weeks after some senior leaders in the PDP turned rebel and accused their party of being family centric were mulling to create the third front and form the government along with BJP.
This could be well gauged from the rebel leader’s statements where they have not even uttered a single word against the former ally BJP and infact blamed their own party president Mehbooba Mufti of failing the party and the state.
“We don’t have issues with the BJP which always stood to the demands of former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti. She sought the ceasefire in Kashmir and centre disposed in just one week. Similarly you see we urged them not to revoke article 370 and all of us are witness that nothing happened to that. They didn’t even talk about it after that. But Mehbooba ji could not deliver despite this support from the centre,” a senior PDP leader Imran Raza Ansari said while justifying his exit from the party.
Ansari was, however much interested in the formation of government after getting some legislatures from the party.
Majority of the legislatures and party leaders in PDP turned rebel for not getting the berth in cabinet, though they believe that they worked hard and sacrificed lot for the party.
Even the legislature from Baramulla constituency Javad Hassan Baig went a step further and accused party of using them like dogs and later forget them. The Baig, however, reportedly later went back to the party fold after having a telephonic discussion with party president.
Baig is associated with PDP ever since party came into being and was formerly serving as Public Relations Officer (PRO) to his uncle and former deputy chief minister Muzaffer Hussain Baig.
Meanwhile, there is a perception in the state that the legislatures turned rebel on behest of New Delhi to demolish the dynastic rule of party and create a third and alternative front in Kashmir.
As this perception is influencing the pubic psyche at the larger level, it would be increasingly difficult for the rebel legislatures to go for the fresh elections and would prefer for any power sharing arrangements and form the government.
The option however, is denied by New Delhi for now. So the question crops up what is cooking up in New Delhi for Kashmir.
The political landscape of Kashmir always threw surprises and there is always New Delhi involved in the Kashmir politics. This has come as the most powerful political swing from New Delhi that tatter the PDP.
If the sources are believed New Delhi is mulling to extend the governor’s rule until 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Kashmir. However, it wants to bring the Jammu and Kashmir state also under the ambit of “one nation one election” fold-the key point of BJP’s political manifesto.
In 2019, BJP plans to hold the both Lok Sabha and state elections together across the country. The Jammu and Kashmir, however, has the peculiarity of six years term for the local government instead of five years like in rest of country.
Prior to that, however, sources said that India wants to strengthen the grass root level institutions which successive regimes have failed time to time.
One of the serious allegations levelled against the Mehbooba Mufti government is that it had unnecessarily derailed the Panchayat and local bodies’ elections in state due to which the people were bereft of various central flagship schemes aimed to empower the people socioeconomically in state.
“We are directed to prepare the ground for the Panchayat and local bodies’ elections. New Delhi knows if the assembly elections are held, the elected regime will again attempt to demonize the grass root level institutions,” said the senior officer in state government, wishing not to be named.
“Local regimes always have tried to sabotage the basic democratic institutions for their personal gains and not letting the power devolution which is the basic aim of democracy”
Given the larger goals of New Delhi to create the perception in favour at national level for 2019 elections, it seems an unwitting effort of rebel leaders to go for the fresh government.
All those who are in the race to create third front are most likely hoping to travel towards the power corridors and it would in that case equally be impossible for New Delhi to please all in one go.
All of them must be equally sure that coming elections on the third political front would be much more difficult for them to contest. So in that case the transparent and accountable governance to offer to the people for New Delhi will emerge a big challenge.
Noor Mohamamd Baba, a political analyst and HoD, Political sconce at Central University Kashmir, however, says that it is common phenomenon to see in the political crisis vulnerable political class coming forward for fragmentation of parties to crave their space.
He even ruled out the common perception that New Delhi has engineered the political crisis in the PDP in view of the recent statement by Ram Madhav.
“Somehow the common perception that New Delhi engineered the crisis in PDP seems to have been subsided for now after Ram Madhav stated that they want continuation of governor’s rule in state,” he told The Legitimate.
Baba, however, says that the situation will be used by both Congress and BJP in the upcoming 2019 elections.
“We have to wait and watch how things are unfolding in Kashmir politics. There is much more to see in future. But for PDP to survive and retain its ground it has to see if any means it can form the government as it has lost substantial political space presently.”