Political uncertainty in J&K

Omkar Dattatray

All coalition arrangements are fragile in nature which is also amply manifested by the fall of PDP-BJP coalition in our state. With the fall of the alliance Government of PDP – BJP due to the abrupt pull out of support by BJP from the alliance, the state has come under Governor’s rule. There is political vacuum and uncertainty in J&K as no political party or parties has shown its eagerness to form a Government. There was rise in militancy and increase in the stone pelting cases and killing of our security forces. J&K is a unique and distinct state of Indian Union and is very sensitive and fragile as far as the political environment of the state is concerned.
Hence it is incumbent upon the Central Government to take due care and caution while dealing with this border state which is facing the monster of terrorism from the last three decades. The Legislative Assembly in the State has been kept on suspended animation and has not been dissolved as yet. There is a murkier political situation in the state and there is also possibility of horse trading and defections in this political environment. Therefore in order to curb the chances of flour crossing and horse trading and other unhygienic political maneuvering and machinations, it was better and in the interest of democracy that the Governor should have exercised his special power under article 53 (2)B to dissolve the assembly. The dissolution of the assembly will discourage all political trickery and machiavellian overtures besides it will lead to saving on account of expenditures on the salary and other perks and allowances to the legislators. Agreed that the political atmosphere and the security environment in J&K is not conducive for holding fresh elections at the moment. The assembly should have been dissolved as demanded by National Conference, Congress, National Panther’s party and even PDP to pave way for elections in due course of time when the security situation improves. There is no substitute for a popular and democratically elected Government in a representative democracy. Governor’s rule is a temporary arrangement and it is no alternative to elected Government.
But then the peculiar circumstances arise and there is a provision for governor’s rule under J&K constitution. Governor’s rule is an intermediary phase between two elected Governments and it is not a lasting solution. The popular and democratically elected Government is far better than Governor rule or presidential rule which can be imposed under article 356 of the Indian constitution under breakdown of constitutional machinery or internal threat or external threat or economic breakdown. Whatever it is the fact remains that there is political uncertainty and instability. Under political uncertainty and instability development and governance is the first causality. Thus for progress, prosperity and good governance, there should be political stability. The Central Government should handle Kashmir with care, caution and restraint and should discourage stitching of unholy and fragile alliances which will only lead to further political mess coupled with the prospectus of horse trading and defections which is hardly in the interests of the state.
It is the eighth time that the state has been put under governor’s rule and it is incumbent Governor’s fourth term that this rule has been imposed. The people of the State have high hopes on the Governor’s dispensation. Governor’s N.N Vohra has got good experience of J&K affairs and it is expected that he will bring the state out of the present glooming situation. The gubernatorial dispensation will to some extent establish rule of law and will improve the security situation in the sensitive militancy affected state. All main political parties whether regional or national have demanded dissolution of the assembly barring BJP. BJP has been silent on the issue of dissolution of the assembly.
It appears that something is being cooked behind the curtains as the BJP general secretary Ram Madav paid a visit to J&K and has met Governor. He had a meeting with his ally Sajad Gani Lone and with Independent legislator Abdul Rashid. The speculations are ripe that the BJP may engineer split in the regional political outfit PDP through Sajad Gani lone which can help the BJP to stitch an unholy and opportunistic but very fragile alliance again. There are strange dead fellows in politics and J&K’s murkier and fragile politics is no exception given the past about 70 years of the state’s democratic functioning which have seen political uncertainty all through these years of self rule and democracy. If this forecast is true then it will be a great political blunder of the BJP which will cost the party much in the general elections of 2019. This follows that the situation in the State is most volatile and sensitive and the BJP should not fish in the troubled waters because such an immature misadventure will cost the saffron party dearly in the run up to 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The political observers are of the view that the Assembly should be dissolved by the Governor which will put all the theories and theatrics of the murkier political deals and machinations to rest and it will be in the larger interests of the state and the country. But then there are expectations from the Governor’s rule that it will be able to improve the security situation of the disturbed state so that at the end of the day at appropriate time Assembly elections will be conducted to pay way for the formation of a strong and stable elected Government to end the political uncertainty which is staring us in the face.
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