For a mere seat

Just for one Legislative Council seat BJP did the unthinkable!

Binoo Joshi
Srinagar, Publish Date: Apr 20 2017 11:41PM | Updated Date: Apr 20 2017 11:41PM
For a mere seatFile Photo

BJP  won  one seat more than it should have got  in the recently concluded Legislative Council  polls. The saffron party got three as against the allotted and agreed two seats, while the PDP  got one  owing to the breach of trust by the  ruling alliance partner.

Normally, this type of outcome is taken as bit of luck in politics when the lottery fell in the lap of BJP and PDP kept looking  on with envy. There was something bizarre in this episode from the  beginning. When the two  alliance partners  knew  that they could win   one seat   only  on the day of real contest on April 17 as per their arithmetic in the  legislative Assembly, why should have they contested  two.

The BJP can argue that it won it through lottery system, but  why did this situation arise  wherein the two alliance partner candidates ended in a tie of  votes ? The lack of coordination  is the only answer to this question.

In any other state of the country such a political mismatch between the ruling alliance partners could have been excused as  a mere misunderstanding and  lack of floor management. But in Jammu and Kashmir it has different  connotations. The message received by Kashmir is that the PDP conceded its seat to the saffron party,  and Jammu BJP  got more than its share in the council.

This  weakens the position of PDP already faced with difficult times and  situation. The PDP’s existence  and its ideology of dialogue and peace are under severe threat. So many players have joined hands against the  party and its leadership for they feel that the ruling party from Kashmir has not been able to defend  interests  of the Valley for which it was mandated  in 2014. It was for that matter that the Valley residents grudgingly  accepted the PDP- BJP alliance. But the people have seen that the things were working contrary to their hopes and expectations.

The stigma of the 2016  unrest  combined with the mayhem  during  Srinagar by -poll on April 9 last  has  made the largest  party in the Assembly to go  on back foot. Its leadership  is finding itself in a whirlpool   of  this murky politics.

A purpose of this political manipulation to make erstwhile friend of PDP, MLA from Zanskar, Syed Mohammad Baqir Rizvi,  to vote for BJP  instead of his own party against the party whip,  was to encroach upon the political territory of PDO. So, it seems. It also  speaks volumes for the trust deficit between the two parties. The agreement on seat sharing  shows that one  party became a willing partner to sabotage its own ally. This is  something that cannot be ignored.

It is  in line of the things that  have happened in the past when the two allies took contradictory stand on so many issues from the sale of beef to the supremacy of the state flag,  and  in their reaction  in regard to the statements  made by the army and some political leaders of BJP  at the national level. 

This opens new  danger lines that there could be a repeat of such “ treachery” that would  annihilate the PDP politically and morally in Kashmir, which is its core constituency.

Hypothetically, BJP may argue that it has got one more seat  from its region, Jammu. That would help it  to do  more  and better things  for the region..If Jammu’s empowerment is  on the basis of seats in the legislature,   the BJP needs to ponder, how much work it has done for Jammu  in the past more than two years now.

 Jammu is facing the acute ration scarcity.  There is an unprecedented cry for the  ration almost every where.  There is basic flaw in dealing with Food Corporation of India. There are mere statements and bright  colour filled statistics, but on the ground there is nothing. The BJP is silent.

Jammu is agitating for water supply. It is the department with a BJP minister. There is absolutely no idea, how much water is available and how much is the demand and supply position..Equally pathetic, if not more,  is the scene with regard to  power supply. Again, a BJP minister in charge of this  important department. If with a share  in power and 26  seats, including one nominated, in the Assembly, Jammu is  in dire straits, how would one more seat in the legislative council make a difference.

 Unless or until the commitments are translated into action, the  number in the legislature  is  like frozen statistics. Jammu doesn’t have to  wait  for such suffering. It is already suffering from that. This part, if studied closely, shows that the attempts to weaken PDP in Kashmir, could have the serious repercussions  on the overall situation in the state, particularly the Valley. It should have learnt some lessons from the past. 

The Omar Abdullah government  of National Conference and Congress was pushed to wall by Congress that was ruling at the Centre till early 2014. The idea should be  not to play Jammu against Kashmir or vice versa. Such situations and verbal editions  with the kind of manipulations  could dangerously  complicate the things. 

The regional confrontation, the undercurrents of which are now, leaping to  erupt, should be handled delicately. The communal minds  pepper the whole confrontation with their own imaginary and real fears. That  poses a serious threat to the unity of the state.

One was wondering during the Omar  Abdullah government that how come the same Congress that had offered power to Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah  on a platter in 1975, could play the games  that it  did from 2009 to 2015. Had Omar been given free hand and  allowed to  work with his new ideas, perhaps the governance scene in the state  would have been different  and pleasant. Unfortunately, the prism of seeing every one as an  anti-national if he or she happens to speak  for  dialogue with stakeholders  is  dangerous thought process There is a need to reach out to the troublemakers and those behind them – visibly as also behind the scene.

The narrow politics of one seat here or there would damage the  effort to  achieve a larger goal of peace  in Jammu and Kashmir. BJP needs to think beyond its partisan approach. As an emerging pan-India party, bigger heart is expected of BJP.