After A Disastrous Performance, BJP Is Trying Every Trick To Form Govt In Jammu And Kashmir Again
PDP is a divided house which has already seen three MLAs revolting against Mehbooba Mufti.
Political pundits had termed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance in Jammu & Kashmir as the “Unholy Alliance”. This “Unholy Alliance” came to a dramatic end when BJP withdrew support on June 19. However, there are reports suggesting that BJP is again trying to form the government in the state, with the help of disgruntled MLAs of other unionist parties.
BJP’s game plan
Reports are ripe that the BJP is attempting everything under its belt to form a government, eyeing the 2020 assembly elections in the state. Under the PDP-BJP government, not only did the security situation in the region worsened, it was felt that the government failed on the developmental front as well. Hence, the BJP currently has nothing to offer its vote-bank in the Jammu division. Syed Amjad Shah, a senior journalist who has been covering the Jammu division for the past ten years, told News Central 24×7, “As far as the development of Jammu is concerned, the BJP has been a complete failure. A number of projects were started by the previous Congress government, but the BJP even could not finish them. Repairing or installing a new electric transformer does not constitute development. BJP has not carried out any landmark development. Neither were they able to do anything substantial on the tourism front.”
With the J&K assembly elections almost year and a half away, BJP is trying to form the government in order to lure their vote-bank. Masood Hussain, editor-in-chief of Kashmir Life, informed NewsCentral 24×7,“BJP is trying to come to power again by hook or by crook. Ram Madhav had come to Kashmir shopping for MLAs. But he forgot that the state has a strong anti-defection law.”
The divided house
Mufti Muhammad Sayeed had tried to bridge the gap between the Srinagar and Jammu divisions, by stitching an alliance which he termed the “joining of the north and the south pole”. However, not only has his mypoic vision been destroyed, now his party’s future is at stake as well.
PDP is a divided house which has already seen three MLAs revolting against the party president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti. It is rumoured that others are in line to follow suit. By forming an alliance with the right-wing BJP, not only did the PDP lose their vision of “self-rule” but has also completely disappointed their vote-bank in its bastion – southern Kashmir.
Imran Ansari, an influential Shia leader, is among the three disgruntled PDP MLAs, and has accused the Mehbooba Mufti of nepotism. He had remarked, “PDP has become a family show which is run by brothers, uncles and other relatives. The Peoples Democratic Party has become Family Democratic Party.” Central 24×7 tried to contact Ansari but our phone calls remained unanswered.
One of Mehooba Mufti’s close associates told News Central 24×7, “A disciplinary action will be taken against those who have gone against the party principles. We are assessing the situation. As you know, there are a lot of rumours going around, hence, we are only monitoring situation right now. Things will get clearer within a few days and we will take action against MLAs who have gone against the party principles.”
When asked why Mehbooba Mufti was camping in New Delhi, he said that the party president was there for personal reasons. “Speculations about a government formation underway in New Delhi are completely wrong. Madam (Mehbooba Mufti) has gone there only for personal reasons. We have clearly asked for earlier elections in the state.”
While Jammu Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) and PDP have kept mum about it, the grand old party of the state, National Conference, has called for dissolving the assembly. According to Masood Hussain, “If PDP breaks, it does not mean that NC or JKPCC can keep their flock together.”
Deteriorating security situation
The last elections in Jammu & Kashmir were held on April 9, 2017. It was one of the bloodiest days that Kashmir has witnessed in the recent past. Eight people were shot dead by government forces during the by-election of Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary seat which saw a turnout of just 6.5 per cent, the worst in thirty years. This was also the day when the infamous incident of a civilian being used as human shield took place in Budgam.
Such was the situation the Election Commission cancelled the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency elections scheduled for May 25, noting, “the situation is not conducive for conducting polls in the Valley as the region is witnessing a spike in violence and protests.”
Since April last year, the central government has failed to hold even Panchayat polls in the state due to the prevailing situation. Faisul Yaseen, associate editor of Rising Kashmir, explains, “Presently, the ground situation in Kashmir is explosive. Most MLAs of the unionist parties have shifted to Srinagar as there is no acceptance of them among the masses, especially in south Kashmir. They are completely disconnected from the people. So, holding an election in such conditions seems quite impossible.”