The hurried dissolution of Jammu and Kashmir assembly, already in suspension since June this year when the BJP walked out of the Mehbooba Mufti led PDP-BJP Coalition Government, by Governor Satyapal Malik has once again shown that New Delhi is not identical with the ground realities of the State. No doubt, this decision was taken by the Governor at the behest of the Centre.
The decision to dissolve the assembly was definitely erroneous. First of all, Governor Malik’s arguments that the alliance (PDP, NC and Congress) was guided by political opportunism and wouldn’t be healthy to the current situation of the state don’t stand scrutiny. It is true that the alliance is opportunistic, but it is a reality in politics and the Governor’s role is to check whether they have the required numbers – not the opportunism of political parties. The state had seen politically incoherent governments before, like the PDP-BJP and PDP-Congress Governments. NC too had allied with the BJP during the Vajpayee era. Another reason given by the Governor that the dissolution was to prevent horse trading totally falls flat. If that was the reason then why wasn’t the assembly dissolved before? The reason was only to facilitate BJP’s efforts to form its own Government by breaking the PDP with the help of Sajjad Lone.
The Centre has to be careful against committing political blunders, which will only act as a wall against it to know the pulse of the common Kashmiris – which will only help the separatists. So, apart from pursuing a strong military strategy, New Delhi definitely needs to play a major role to create space for democratic forces if separatism is to be defeated. It should now ensure that assembly elections are held as soon as possible or along with the Lok Sabha elections instead of keeping the state under President’s rule for a longer time. Simply flexing muscles sitting in New Delhi – just like the previous Congress Governments of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi – would never work, but will only adversely affect the Centre’s already fragile image in the Valley.
Firstly, it is a right action in right direction and at right time , because there was no hope for formation of a stable Government. Secondly, there was an apparent race for formation of Government by means of horse trading which was not in the interest of the public.
Thirdly, the sitting legislators were getting their salaries in vain adding to extravagance which could never be justified.
Fourthly, the sitting legislators had also lost their relevance and credibility which can be regained only after seeking fresh mandate from the electorate.
Hence it is a right step to restore the confidence by means of fresh elections. And it is hoped that the conditions will improve and we will get a stable and reliable assembly after fresh elections and it is also possible that many faces will be exchanged. However, let us hope for the best
O P Sharma
The dissolution of the State Assembly was a very bold step by the Governor. It is the responsibility of the Governor and Central Government to create an environment for the elections in the State within the six months, as it is very important for the public to have a democratic Government in the State. J&K saw a long period without a democratic Government for 6 years and 264 days in the 1990s when there was a President’s rule.In the same way, Local bodies and Panchayati election were held after a very long time. If these elections could be held at a time when militancy is at its peak in Kashmir, why can’t Assembly elections be held now. We expect that the Government may take a decision in this regard very soon as it will be in the interest of J&K people and the country.