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PDP Failed Kashmir Alliance

PDP Failed Kashmir Alliance
Highlights

PDP failed the Kashmir Alliance with its myopic vision, constituent appeasement, immature politics and unwarranted political posturing. J&K currently needed quite opposite class of politics. PDP missed a historic opportunity to bring J&K to normalcy and provide the people of Kashmir much needed peace & succor.

There’s no single reason for the collapse of this historic alliance in the most troubled state of the Indian Union. The constant leaning of PDP leadership in governance to go soft on terror in the valley, their urge to see the other way on chronic disruption of law & order in the state, their insistence on unconditional ceasefire and its continuity despite rising violence being sponsored from across the border by Pakistan are a few reasons amongst many for BJP to rethink the continuity of its governance partnership with PDP

Three years of an unconventional alliance between BJP & PDP have come to an end in Jammu & Kashmir. It’s unfortunate for J&K and for India that it has ended.

PDP failed the Kashmir Alliance with its myopic vision, constituent appeasement, immature politics and unwarranted political posturing. J&K currently needed quite opposite class of politics. PDP missed a historic opportunity to bring J&K to normalcy and provide the people of Kashmir much needed peace & succor.

In the assembly elections of 2014, voters of J&K have shown the entire world that they are with India and its democratic process. They have exposed the propaganda of Pakistan & its clones in the valley, as manufactured.

They have braved the poll boycott calls and violent threats by terrorists, separatists and have turned up at the polling booths in mid winter chill to cast their votes. The voter turnout was unprecedented and above the national average, and it crossed 65% overall. In one of the phases, it even crossed 76%, which is a historic high in the troubled state.

The mandate was quite decisive. BJP scored a stupendous victory in Jammu winning 25 seats and PDP won 28 in Kashmir, out of 87 seats contested. In fact, BJP got the highest percentage of votes with 23%, higher than any single party. BJP rose from a mere 11 seats to 25 with an increase of 14 seats. PDP scored a vote percentage of 22.7% with an increase of 7 seats from their earlier 21.

Congress as usual lost 5 out of their earlier 17 seats & National Conference lost a whopping 13 seats from their 28 seats. The mandate of J&K was clearly against Congress & NC.

BJP took a historic initiative by extending a hand of friendship to PDP to respect the mandate of people of J&K. BJP risked not just damage to its well-guarded reputation of being a nationalist party but also the risk of drawing ire from Sangh Parivar and millions of its followers since inception, who fought for total integration of Kashmir. It took many weeks and months for the party to communicate and convince the reasons for entering this unprecedented alliance.

All this not for power sharing in a state, but to ensure J&K stays in the safe hands of BJP for an entire 6-year assembly term, which is specially provisioned by the constitution of the state of J&K.

BJP checkmated any possibility of other parties cobbling up an opportunistic alliance, which can possibly put Kashmir on the wrong governance path. The decision was to safeguard the national interest by protecting the sovereignty and integrity of India. Any possibility of two regional parties in the valley coming together into power to govern the state in Kashmir can spell a lot of trouble to this special state, where assembly holds serious powers under Article 370. Brute strength in the J&K assembly can alter the future of the state with its ability to pass path breaking resolutions, which can lead to more instability. BJP alliance with PDP ensured such a situation doesn’t arise.

The ambitious initiative of BJP to repeal Article 370 & to unify J&K fully into the constitution of India with no differential powers than any other state of the Indian Union, had to be kept away to ensure a functional alliance with PDP through a mutually agreeable governance agenda. BJP also ensured the alliance survives by allowing the PDP to have its leader as the Chief Minister and to have a major part of cabinet positions. True to its ideology of ‘Nation First,’ BJP has risen to the occasion to form a government in the state which the people of Kashmir voted for cumulatively in J&K.

However, PDP couldn’t sacrifice much in the last 3 years. It enjoyed the power but has not taken any responsibility to ensure the situation in the state get better. PDP interest seems to remain simply political and its agenda is perennially separatist. PDP didn’t mature in the new relationship to gain any new perspective for the larger good of J&K. The narrow narrative of separatism, spirit of cessation and Pakistan influence seem to be still haunting the party in the valley. There’s simply no reform possible, if one has no intention to change track.

There’s no single reason for the collapse of this historic alliance in the most troubled state of the Indian Union. The constant leaning of PDP leadership in governance to go soft on terror in the valley, their urge to see the other way on chronic disruption of law & order in the state, their insistence on unconditional ceasefire and its continuity despite rising violence being sponsored from across the border by Pakistan are a few reasons amongst many for BJP to rethink the continuity of its governance partnership with PDP.

Unlike the Congress party, BJP can’t trade the national interest for continuing in power in a state. Political power has no meaning, if it cannot stop the damage being done to the integrity and sovereignty of the nation.

The decisions taken by the President of BJP Amit Shah, one in 2014 & another in 2018 in reference to J&K were massive, and both had huge national implications. However, they were easy and natural choices to make for BJP, and it is the party ideology ‘Nation First’ which drove both these decisions in the larger interest of the nation. PDP failed the Kashmir alliance and has lost a historic opportunity to reform its own ideology and the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

(Writer is BJP Spokesperson/ Organisational Strategist & Author)

Krishna Saagar Rao

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