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A happy augury

A happy augury
Highlights

Ending months of political uncertainty, decks are cleared for the takeover of Mehbooba Mufti as the next Chief Minister of sensitive border state of Jammu & Kashmir. The truce between the BJP and the PDP paved the way for the formation of an elected government. 

Ending months of political uncertainty, decks are cleared for the takeover of Mehbooba Mufti as the next Chief Minister of sensitive border state of Jammu & Kashmir. The truce between the BJP and the PDP paved the way for the formation of an elected government.

It’s a happy augury as protracted delay in the formation of government in a troubled state is unwarranted. The hostile neighbour is all set to exploit even the slightest opportunity to capitalise on the discontent in the state. Prolonged spell of President’s rule would only accentuate the sense of alienation in the people of Jammu & Kashmir.

In fact, decades of political developments in this state reveal that the central government-sponsored political turmoil was responsible for the rise of separatism in Kashmir valley in 1970s and 1980s. The political machinations engineered by the Congress-led central government turned the political situation volatile, rendering the national political parties to be paper tigers in the trouble-torn valley.

Fissiparous forces are still active in this state. Cross-border terrorism still remains a challenge. Discontent is still brewing among the people disenchanted by political maneuvering. Terrorist violence crippled the economy. Divisive forces made the social fabric more fragile. In such a milieu, an elected state government at the helm of affairs is of vital importance.

No other political permutations and combinations would be in a position to herald a more stable government than the PDP–BJP alliance, given the strange electoral arithmetic in the state legislature. Driving the state to the brink of midterm elections is no solution as the political situation may not throw up any different electoral arithmetic, given the politico-religious composition of Jammu & Kashmir. Yet another round of elections would only provide more ammunition to the disruptive forces hell-bent on disturbing the democratic fabric of the conflict-ridden state.

The statesmanship of patriarch Mufti Mohammad Sayeed could effectuate an alliance between the PDP and the BJP, the poles apart on Kashmir issue. The BJP wants abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that grants autonomy for the state. The PDP wants more than autonomy for the state. At times, the PDP took a position akin to that of separatist voices.

Mehbooba Mufti is more radical than her father who enjoyed a greater degree of acceptability across the political spectrum. The death of Mufti sahib has certainly created a void. Mehbooba lacks political sagacity to manage such a divergent alliance. The fringe elements within the BJP take hawkish stand much to the disenchantment of PDP leadership.

The partners of this peculiar alliance should have to adhere to the coalition dharma, realising that the people have given only a split verdict. Fractured verdict and fragmented polity disallow political one-upmanship; a spirit of political accommodation on both sides is the need of the hour.

The Common Minimum Programme that avoids controversial political issues should guide the government and the parties that lead it. But, the competing political landscape foments the ideological divide. The political class should bury pusillanimity to ensure political stability so vital for peace and tranquility in this highly vulnerable state.

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