By Ishaq Begh
The 2014 state assembly election results of Jammu and Kashmir were of a different flavor because they astonished everyone on the political arena of Jammu and Kashmir as well as in India. It is a concrete fact that the Modi wave in India swept away many assembly seats in Jammu division because of majority of Hindu populace. The communal card played by the BJP yielded its fruits and it managed to grab 25 assembly seats. Beyond communalism, the election manifesto of BJP was in favor of the abrogation of Article 370 and against the dynasty rule which its leaders called as Baap-Beta (Abdulah dynasty) and Baap-Beti (Mufti Syeed family).
The BJP leaders were of the opinion that mainly Jammuities would fall into their snare by using these two cards and eventually they succeeded in their well planned motive. The BJP’s victory removed the NC from its garrisons of Jammu division. On the other hand, the PDP managed to win 28 seats and became the largest political party of Jammu and Kashmir. PDP won these seats after its stalwarts opposed the BJP and the killing spree of 2010 under the NC led dispensation. Mufti Sayed and his daughter sought public support for keeping BJP out of the power corridors of Jammu and Kashmir as Modi wave was not acceptable to the inhabitants of the Muslim dominated areas of the state; so people voted PDP for keeping BJP and NC out of the state affairs.
After the results were out , everyone called JK assembly as a hung one because the major parties were of different ideologies; in fact, some political observers called the PDP and BJP as north and south pole which could not meet in any circumstance. But , what went wrong was the merger of these two opposite poles and everyone was puzzled when the BJP and PDP formally announced that they were coming together to form the Government in Jammu and Kashmir.
Mufti Sayeed was elected as the Chief M, Minister of the state with deputy CM from the BJP leadership. Mufti as a mature politician kept his flock together and kept party cadre intact with his vast political knowledge and acumen. Though his period was an initial one of PDP-BJP alliance and he tried to persuade the people for aligning with his former enemy (BJP). Amid this persuasion, he fell seriously ill and finally in the trap of death. After Mufti’s death in 2016, his daughter Mehbooba Mufti (Parliament member at that time) took over the reins.
In July 2016, a famous militant Burhan Wani was killed in a gun battle in south Kashmir and within no time Mehbooba’s was tremendously shacked with the valley wide protests and the ensuing killing spree. And, the alliance was in a great trouble as the whole of Kashmir descended into the vortex of intense conflict and protests. With the use of brutal force and muscular policies, the Mehbooba led government invited high intensity abhorrence from the common man of Kashmir and people frequently criticized Mehbooba for her unholy alliance with the BJP as she was the main brain behind the whole game.
During her tenure, many militant commanders and unarmed civilians were killed and she always blamed people for this whole pandemonium, once after the killing of some teen age boys in south Kashmir, she along with Rajnath Singh in a press meet said that “ Had these boys gone to get toffees in camps”? This statement of her was discussed in every house of Kashmir because as a Chief Minister, she should not have uttered such words. Mehbooba’s tenure witnessed uncountable strikes, encounters and protests.
Unlike her father, Mehbooba endeavored as an incredulous politician as she elevated her family members in party leadership thus discredited the co-founders of PDP like Muzafar Begh and Tariq Qarra. Tariq Hameed Qarra manged to get a good rank in Congress party after parting his ways from Mehbooba led PDP in 2016 September. While resigning from Parliament and PDP, Qarra criticized Mehbooba for being a collaborator of the RSS in Jammu and Kashmir. Dissent was there in the PDP camp but continuous ministerial reshuffle helped Mehbooba to keep her flock intact.
BJP, while analyzing the atmosphere of 2019 parliamentary polls in India, pointed its alliance with PDP as a main obstacle because the promises they made in 2014 elections were totally against the PDP. The BJP leadership took this continuity as a bad omen for the coming elections of 2019 and thus broke its alliance with the PDP and pushed party’s top brass in a shock. Some analysts believed that if BJP wouldn’t have parted its ways from this alliance, in the near future Mehbooba would definitely repeat her action which she did with the Congress in 2008.
Political analysts always termed the PDP-BJP alliance as an unholy one and, in fact, advised the PDP leadership not to form an alliance with communal hands. Now, the departure of BJP has left the PDP in an embarrassment and a tremulous condition. Mehbooba now finds herself in a sinking ship. People in Jammu and Kashmir always thought that her behavior with her party cadres changed, once she engaged her close relatives in party affairs and allotted them key posts; this is why many of her MLAs have started to utter the shocking words against her policies.
To rule the masses is easy but to keep the aiding flock intact is very much difficult in contemporary politics, that too when you have cadres from diverse ideologies. Now, political pundits of JK are forecasting a horse trade as some PDP MLAs are in contact with the BJP and a sudden rebellion would definitely clear the ways for a new coalition in JK. Mehbooba’s tenure rendered high profits for the BJP and great losses for her because there was never win-a-win situation for her due to avoidable mistakes and decisions.
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