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BJP severes ties with PDP in J&K

Kingson Chingakham

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have ended their three years old alliance in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K),ahead of the General Elections next year.The BJP cited ‘national security’ and ‘deterioration of security situations in the state’ as the major reasons for pulling out from an alliance that has three years more to complete six years term.This has set the stage for the eight time Governor’s Rule in the state of J&K.The previous Governaor Rules ranged from a duration of 15 days to as long as 6 years.

Blame Game

Ram Madhav,the BJP’s General Secretary,blamed the PDP for the fall of the alliance.He said, “Continuation in the government had become untenable…responsibility for this kind of scenario lies with the other side”.

He further said, “ Keeping in mind the larger national interest of India’s national intergrity and security,keeping in mind the fact that J&K is an integral part of India,in order to bring control over the situation prevailing in the state,we have decided that it is time the reins of power in the state be handed over to the Governor”.The PDP outrightly denied the allegation and said that the BJP equally shared the responsibility of security of the people by coming to an alliance.Therefore,if there have been any shortcomings in the security preparedness,only one party can not be blamed.

What caused it?

Though for some time,both the parties had been confronting various internal issues.The most immediate reason for the break up has been cited as the ‘unenthusiastic response to the centre’s unilateral announcement of suspension of security operations in J&K during the month of Ramzan’.

Though the ceasefire showed some goodwill,violence did not stop in the state and eventually led to the assasination of Shujaat Bhukhari,Editor of the Raising Kashmir. The BJP showed a serious concern over the fundamental rights of life and free speech.Though,both the parties formed a government,Mr.Madhav blamed the PDP for the sever shortcomings in the security aparatuses.

It is clear by now that thr BJP did not want to go with the PDP in the General Elections next year.Before both the parties stitched this alliance three years back,the parties did not have any similar ideologies.In fact,many called ‘bringing of North pole and South pole together’.PDP was targeted several times for being soft to the ‘separatists’.On the other hand,the PDP fought against the BJP to save the Article 370,which gives special status to J&K.

In this course of action,the BJP must have wanted to portray as a party which prioritizes national interests over the party’s interests.Though it might work well for the BJP by breaking up ties with the PDP,this episode did not send a good message to the other prospective smaller/regional parties.This is the second time that the current National Democractic Alliance (NDA) government has ended alliance.In March, the Telegu Desam Party (TDP) ended its alliance with the BJP in Andhra Pradesh and called the BJP as ‘Break Janta Promise’.This will certanily make the other political parties to rethink twice before signing an alliance with the BJP.Losing the trust of the smaller/regional parties can not be a healthy move ahead of the General Elections next year.

Mehbooba resigns

No consultation with the PDP members was carried out before announcing the withdrawal of support by the BJP.Though the PDP has been anticipating this,it came as a surprise to many. Mehbooba Mufti resigned immediately from her office and did not take time for political reconfiguration to form a government.She said that the PDP did not form a government with the BJP just for the sake of Power.But instead the PDP joined an alliance with the BJP because her father,Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, belived that in order to solve many issues plaguing in the state,it was important to bring in the political party running the central government.

Aftermath

After the resignation,N N Vohra, the Governor of J&K called up the leaders of the other political parties to know the alternatives of government formation in the state.The possible alliances were charted out by many experts.Many believed that the PDP which won 28 seats out of the total 87 seats in the 2014 Assembly elections should form a coalition government with the National Conference(NC) which won 15 seats,with support from the Independents.The other configuration that was drawn was that the Indian National Congress (INC) should stitch an alliance with the PDP and the NC to form a government.But none seemed to have worked out well.Because even the INC has stigmatized the PDP for working with the BJP.Omar Abudullah,the leader from the NC,called for a fresh elections as soon as possible instead of forming an unstable coalition government.

What now?

With this the Governor has an extremely important role to play.Mr. Vohra’s tenure ends next month and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and President is working on to extend his tenure for smooth execution of the Governor’s Rule in the state.Unlike the other states in the country,J&K has a separate constitution of its own.Therefore,Article 356 is not applicable to J&K. Instead, Section 92 of the Constitution of J&K will be invoked.This section gives additional powers to the Governor,including the authority to legislate.The Governor’s rule can be imposed for six months.

During the Governor’s Rule,the Assembly will be under suspended animation.Elections have to be conducted within six months from whenever the Governor announces the dissolution of the Assembly.But after the expiry of the six months Governor’s rule,if no elections are held,Article 356 will come into force paving the way for President’s Rule.

Bitter Ending

The alliance did not have a productive inning.There have been list of unfinished businesses under Agenda of Alliance signed by both the parties when they formed this coalition government.The center was supposed to offer dialogue to separatists.But it did not happen.Various confidence building measures were planned for both the sides of the LoC.But with this bitter ending,the agendas will remain on paper.Elections can only be conducted when the social,economic and political environment of the state is sound.Assessing the current build up,J&K has been under serious security threats.Violence have become a daily affair.At this kind of situation,the Election Commission is unlikely to announce for an election soon in the state.

Personal Blog. For details please mail me at observersindia@gmail.com

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