After the recent Parliamentary polls, the People’s Democratic Party emerged as a formidable pro-India party that could challenge the family rule of the Abdullahs in the Valley. The way this party drubbed all three candidates of National Conference in all constituencies of Kashmir region came as a shocker to many political pundits. The swift rise of this party to the highest echelons of political spectrum in the Valley can be equated to the rise of an underdog in absence of a favourite team in any sporting tournament. While the people have no favourites to cheer for, the underdogs gain the sympathy and support of the people usually termed as the home crowd. However, at the end, most of the underdog teams or players, after a brief stint with success, crash out of the tournament; not because of the opposition’s strength or expertise but because of the follies by the underdogs themselves.
Similar things are happening to the PDP after witnessing a burst of success in the polls. While few people in the Valley, in absence of any genuine pro-political voice vouching for their cause, supported the PDP party to defeat the NC, the party is hell-bent upon making mistakes that have a potential to send it to where the NC is positioned today. The resentment among the party cadres over the distribution of mandates is coming to the fore by the day. Many youth leaders of the PDP have alleged that like NC this party is also encouraging the family rule—of the Muftis—in the Valley. It is also being said that giving mandates to people tainted with corruption and on the basis of rapport and influence with party high-ups rather than the leadership qualities are the mistakes that this party is making ahead of the Assembly polls. Indeed, personal rapport seems to influence the decision making as was evident when the PDP gave made to an influential economist in a south Kashmir constituency instead of the incumbent MLA who has been working in the constituency from past six years. Similar is the case with a youth leader from Sopore who resigned from the party after he was sidelined after a senior PDP leader allegedly influenced and persuaded the party leadership to issue a mandate in favour of his relative.
In view of the developments going on in the PDP, one is tempted to ask whether the party is really democratic.
Blurb: Indeed, personal rapport seems to influence the decision making as was evident when the PDP gave made to an influential economist in a south Kashmir constituency instead of the incumbent MLA who has been working in the constituency from past six years.