Uncertainty in Government Formation Feeds Speculation and Self Serving Politics

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By Arshad Khan

Again there is political uncertainty in the state. It is not known what is going to be the outcome of this uncertainty: will a government be installed in the State? Will the Legislative Assembly be dissolved or will there be extension of Governor’ rule and then President’s rule? Nobody knows precisely what is going to happen. There are only guesses and speculations; these speculations are selling these days and nobody knows for how long.
One speculation makes Sajad Lone the Chief Minister, for others, it is Haseeb Drabu and for others somebody else is going to be the CM. The more prolonged the government formation or the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly gets, the more speculations and guesses would be there and no matter if all of them prove wrong in the end. Speculations galore exist amidst the general uncertainty but the urgent need is to view the issue with great seriousness and try to end it.
Governor’s rule, which is proving a blessing in disguise for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, is also being handicapped by another type of uncertainty. There are daily reports that the incumbent Governor will be replaced and different names make rounds in the media. This situation renders the Governor’s rule incapable of working optimally. Under this uncertainty, the incumbent Governor cannot initiate long term projects and formulate long term policy decisions. If a project is initiated and policy decision made, there is every possibility that the project may be stopped and the decision scrapped by the new governor or the new government if that is installed.
The uncertainties in the political landscape of the state have become new normal; the vacuum in the governance that is created on account of lack of a duly elected government is now a routine in the state. Since the election results in the year 2014 were announced, the parties adopted an over cautious approach. They have been hesitant in forming government; they have been hesitant in making normal coalitions and ended up forming the unnatural and abnormal ones. In the government, the coalition partners acted as individuals than a joint government. Therefore, when the government was in place, it was not working and when there is not elected government the direction and destiny cannot be clearly specified for the lack of certainty in the government.
The situation contemporarily is not different. Governor’s rule is there to stay or not is a mystery considering emerging news and views. The parties who have the mandate are not able to make any decisions. They let horse trading to go on but it is not known whether the government can be formed under the current circumstances even if the horses are traded and MLA,s are sold and bought.
In fact, the political parties, it seems, try to kill two geese with each single arrow; they want play with the provisions of constitution without having to bear the brunt of those provisions. They want to be in the government without giving people any impression that they are engaged in any such thing. So far, they have not succeeded in finding a loophole in the constitutional provisions to fulfill their designs and interests. The welfare of the people and progress of the state is the last thing they want; what is dear to them are the petty interests and profits.
The upholding of ideologies and agendas are just gimmicks used to befool the masses. They are not worried if their ideologies and party constitutions get violated. They least care if the election manifestos that they had formulated before fighting the elections are not kept. And, they are not concerned about the fate of the state; even if the state is sold again they would accept that willingly if that acceptance brings them some material gains.
The current breed of politicians of the state has thick skin. Their pain receptors, to perceive the pain of their people, are not working. Their eyes cannot see what their wrong policies and programs are doing to the people of the state. Their other sense organs, it seems, have been depleted from all the power to work as those organs do in their normal conditions. People and the popular sovereign for them are slaves who are bound to serve the master and not the other way round.
Political parties should sit together for the sake of Jammu and Kashmir. They should jointly analyze all the options and work out a workable solution. They should not get engaged in any horse trading and should discourage others also to do that. The best they can do is to submit a joint memorandum to the Governor for dissolution of the Legislative Assembly.
If this is not possible, the parties should at least try to set their own houses in order. All the people and members of the parties should be held together to take a joint decision. This way of acting by the parties would also have the same effects that the joint memorandum could do. It would fail all the attempts to form a government in violations of the constitutional provisions and would help in maintain democratic credentials of a state where democracy is in retreat.
The constitutional heads and authorities holding their chairs should realize their duties and defeat all the nefarious designs of the politician who want to gain the power of the state by hook or crook.
Remaining adamant in dirty politics is no cure; the cure lies in dynamism but this dynamism should by no means compromise the basics of democracy. The way the political parties work and the government functionaries avoid their duties the basics get compromised. Realization upon the concerned should dawn now for the larger good; hope this is going to be the case!

The author can be reached at: arshad9708@gmail.com