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Power Tussle in Jammu & Kashmir

Kingson Chingakham

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Blame the two sides

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ended its three years alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K).The outgoing CM Mehbooba Mufti immediately resigned after the BJP withdrew support from the coalition government three years ahead of its six years term.The blame game between the estranged partners have not stopped yet.The major reason for the breakdown of the alliance has been cited as the shortcomings of security preparedness from ‘the other side’ as said by the BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav.

It will be wrong for the BJP to blame the PDP for the deterioration of security in the state as the BJP had an equal share of responsibility in the coaltion government.In the Agenda of Agreement,signed by both the parties,the BJP had listed many measures to improve security in the state.In this third year of coalition,most of the agendas remain on the paper only.No proper dialogues with the separatists were organized by the party.The BJP have an immense power as it rules in the center but lacked in political willingness to execute the promises.

Though the CM of the state is the Chair of the Unified Command of the state,the Army is in the direct control of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.The Unified Command comprises the Army, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the state police. The controversial the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990 has been under the guidance of the Central Government.With all this control,how can there be a one-sided blame? The break up of the alliance also exposes the inability of the BJP to contain the violence in the state.

By being the first one to withdraw the support from the coalition government,the BJP has earned a political mileage.This has helped in building an image upon the people that the national interests comes first before the party’s interests.There are definitely hidden objectives ahead of the General elections next year.On the other side,the PDP had anticipated that this could happen anytime soon.They also got an opportunity to withdraw from the alliance when two of the BJP members were accused in the Kathua gangrape.This would have been a moral high ground if the PDP had withdrawn.It would have gained peoples trust and confidence.

The Governor has not dissolved the Assembly yet,but has put it in the form of suspended animation which means that any party which has half way mark of the total member of the state assmebly can form a Government.But till then,there will be Governor’s Rule under Section 92 of the J&K Constitution.Article 356 of the Indian Constitution is not applicable in the state of J&K.This is the eight time that Governor’s Rule has been imposed in the state.The incumbent Governor N N Vohra will execute his third Governor’s Rule in the state.He had imposed Governor’s Rule in 2008-09 for 6 months and another three months in 2016.The longest Governor’s Rule was during the office of the former Governor Jagmohan Malhotra starting from January 1990 to October 1996.

The BJP wanted an entry in the state of J&K and create an image of countrywide acceptance.The PDP,on the other hand,wanted to save the Article 370 from abrogation.Both the parties signed up for an alliance only on the ground of political opportunism in spite of difference in their ideologies and approaches.This bitter ending of the alliance opens up an opportunity for the National Conference and the Indian National Congress to regain their support base in the state.

Looking at the current scenario of the state,it is unlikely that an elections will take place any time soon.By law,elections have to be taken place within six months from the dissolution of the Assembly.But the state has been plagued with violence and militant propaganda.Therefore,the Election Commission might advise for President’ Rule after the expiry of six months of Governor’s Rule.It can be also expected that the State Assembly and the General Elections might take place simultaneously next year.

As a dark history,Governor’s Rule in the state of J&K has only led from bad to worse.Peoples trust receded and violence and militanism increased during the Governor’s Rule.It is not advisable to prolong the Governor’s Rule and find a political solution to end the violence in the state.Improvement in the security will increase the chances of earlier election.The people of J&K should not be deprived of a democratically elected government for long.

Coalition governments do not have any security.Parties can break away anytime citing any reason.This will only lead to fresh elections before the expiry of the term.Such move only adds extra burden to the Election Commission(EC).The EC also has to spend a hefty amount in organizing the mid polls due to the whims and desires of the political parties.Taxpayers money are wasted ultimately due to differences among the partners and want for better political opportunity.There should be some ground of penalty and punishment to prevent the parties moving away after stitching an alliance.

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

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