JAMMU: With suspense over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir showing no signs of end, the vested interests in both PDP and BJP have redoubled their efforts to make a breakthrough, by hook or crook, no matter what happens to their respective parties or the nation.
The PDP and BJP are hugely divided and facing inner party crisis over reviving the coalition which practically came to an end the day Mufti Mohammed Sayeed passed away. Theoretically, however, both say they are in alliance. If so, where is hitch to form the government?
This is a question, answer to which is haunting PDP more than the BJP. Reluctance of Mehbooba Mufti to succeed her father was not just out of shock, as is being made out. There was much more than that. The poor attendance of people during burial of the former Chief Minister in Bijbehara actually rang alarm bells in the PDP. Indifference shown by Muftis home town added to the worries, which is why Muzaffar Hussain Beig did not deliver the letter of PDP electing Mehbooba Mufti as leader of the parliamentary party. Why did PDP withhold the letter?
Two developments took place simultaneously since the departure of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed. One, Mehbooba Mufti started getting feedback from ground-zero about the damage caused to her party in the wake of aligning with BJP. Second, the beneficiaries of the coalition-in this case the former PDP ministers and vice chairpersons of various corporations-advocating for aligning with the Sangh outfit by citing Mufti’s legacy. They know that going back to electors will not get them ministries again, with PDP’s graph having taken nose dive since March last year. This is the lot which has been applying all tactics to keep the alliance intact.
Similarly, the BJP has been completely taken over by the lot which failed their own party and the electors of Jammu by indulging in unprecedented acts of omissions and commissions as ministers. They set worse examples in ‘looting’ the exchequer by running transfer industries, favouring cronies and helping kith and kin to grab crucial appointments. They keep running from Jammu to Srinagar and Srinagar to Delhi to have the alliance in place. They know facing Jammu people again in snap polls will land them in political wilderness. Ever since becoming ministers, most of them can’t dare to be in the midst of their supporters. Such has been the indifference that Jammu observed three successful bandhs against a party that had been at the helm for such activities during the past nearly seven decades. They have virtually become persona non grata within their constituents. What could be a sorrow state of public resentment than people of a particular constituency in Jammu releasing posters, asking people to let them know the whereabouts of their MLA.
During ten-month of their tenure as ministers and after thrown out of the power corridors, none of the former ministers has been seen amidst people. The public meetings organized by them proved to be embarrassing spectacle with nobody in audience.
Therefore, like PDP, the BJP too have two groups; one those of beneficiaries and the others who are out of the power-ring, debating for and against the alliance. Both the parties have lost their sheen they enjoyed during 2014 elections.
There may be ideological divergence between PDP and BJP, which Mufti Mohammed Sayeed called North Pole and South Pole but there is intriguing convergence between the beneficiaries (former ministers of both the parties) who want to come together again to carry on unpopular government, in the words of Mehbooba Mufti.
During the past week, things seemed to be brightening for the former ministers of the two parties. However, the JNU incident seems to have turned their apple cart as alleged involvement of Kashmiri students in anti- national sloganeering has cast a dark shadow over the formation of the government again.
BJP has been the worst sufferer, as people of Jammu are wondering as to why none of its leaders even remotely condemned the anti-national acts at the JNU and Press Club of India. The Centre’s strategic inaction against seditious elements has proved last nail in the coffin of BJP in its strong-hold of Jammu.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper