And the Governor's rule !

The people talking about Governor’s rule in the state seem desperate to see PDP out

Javaid Malik
Srinagar, Publish Date: May 19 2017 11:12PM | Updated Date: May 19 2017 11:12PM
And the Governor's rule !File Photo

Since the day Peoples Democratic Party has lost the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency to National Conference speculations are rife that PDP-BJP coalition in Jammu and Kashmir would end any time and Governor’s rule would be imposed to restore normalcy in the state.

The NC President Dr Farooq Abdullah, who won the Lok Sabha elections from Srinagar-Budgam constituency, seems to have regained his confidence and has been trying his best to hit the nail on its head.

Dr Farooq Abdullah after winning the Lok Sabha polls managed to meet the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in New Delhi and held one to one meeting with him. Dr Farooq meeting the Prime Minister created ripples in the camp of ruling PDP and it’s believed that most of the PDP ministers telephoned their friends in Delhi to know what transpired during the meeting between the two leaders.

Not much could be known about what Dr Farooq and PM Modi discussed but since that day rumours are making rounds that Delhi is contemplating to impose Governor’s rule in the state.

The Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra being called to Delhi and him meeting the top BJP ministers, including the Prime Minister, Modi, added to the confusion as the people who were spreading rumours about Governor’s rule is in the offing got a chance to drive home a point that something is cooking up in New Delhi.

Despite so much of uthal-puthal the PDP leaders, including the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, maintained calm and did not react to any of these developments. In fact on the last day of Durbar in Jammu, the Chief Minister relieved the former Chief Secretary of the state and appointed her Principal Secretary B B Vyas as the new CS and appointed Rohit Kansal as her Principal Secretary. On the other hand the state Home department headed by the Chief Minister overhauled the Police department without discussing the issue in the cabinet. She tried to dispel the notion that there is anything wrong and she enjoys full support of the Centre and the PM Modi.

The people who are talking about Governor’s rule in the state seem desperate to see the PDP’s back. The opposition National Conference would be more than happy if PDP snaps its ties with the BJP and calls it a day as it would get a chance to claim that NC only can rule Kashmir. The opposition parties are waiting for a day to see the PDP-BJP alliance crumbling so that they can drive home a point that PDP led coalition spelled doom for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Recently the NC patron Dr Farooq Abdullah issued a hard hitting statement claiming that Governor’s rule in JK and keeping the Legislative Assembly under suspended animation are imperative for normalcy to be restored in Kashmir. One could easily make out that statement is political stunt aimed at cornering the government.      

If one goes by the statements being issued by the NC and the situation being projected by the New Delhi based news channels he would assume that Kashmir is burning and situation is far from normal but the fact is that situation is not as bad as its being projected by the section of the media. The debates and news reports being beamed by the TV channels have written off Kashmir and according to them the only solution is to handover the “restive Valley” to the Army.

During the past few days the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, has hit out at TV channels twice and has reiterated that these channels should stop presenting a “scary picture” of Kashmir. She has made it clear that she has been outraged at the “wrong portrayal” of the Kashmir situation by the section of media.

The Union Defence Minister, Arun Jaitley, who arrived in Srinagar to attend the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting came openly in support of the PDP-BJP coalition saying restoration of peace in Kashmir was Government of India’s top priority. “Let the situation in the State become normal. This is our top priority at the moment,” he said. 

Jaitley acknowledged that situation in “some parts of the State particularly in south Kashmir has been quite challenging”. But, the Union Minister said, he and the visiting delegation of Finance Ministers and officials from different States and Union Territories found Srinagar “fairly normal”. “I also share the impression which my colleagues from all over the country have that it (Srinagar) is certainly far better and more normal than the impression which media has been creating about it. All the people (Finance Ministers of different states and officials) who have come here had apprehensions due to the scene created by electronic media. But it has now changed, all the people are moving freely since yesterday (and) some of them are even staying back after the meeting.”

He even ruled out the possibility of having a rotational Chief Minister in JK saying that he has not heard of any such thing.

Assertions of the Union Defence Minister have come as a respite for the ruling PDP which stands cornered since the day it lost the LoK Sabha polls in Srinagar. The polls recorded only 7% voting. These were marred by violence as eight people were killed in the forces firing on that fateful day (April 9, 2017). 

Jaitley taking a dig at media by describing situation in Srinagar “fairly normal” and offering full support to the incumbent regime in JK seems to have punctured the opposition propaganda at least for time being and it’s a clear indication of the fact that Mehbooba Mufti led government is not going anywhere. 

(Javaid Malik is Senior Editor Greater Kashmir.)