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.