Nine months in the office

Post 2014 Parliamentary elections, anybody would have put his money on People’s Democratic Party as the winner of J&K’s assembly elections.
Nine months in the office
Representational Pic

Post 2014 Parliamentary elections, anybody would have put his money on People's Democratic Party as the winner of J&K's assembly elections. Supported with previous government's failure and PDP's anti BJP stance during election campaign, people of Kashmir in particular came out in large numbers to support them. It has been almost nine months since the new coalition has taken the charge, however the writing is loud and clear on the wall that PDP as a party has incurred huge loss; both politically as well as ideologically. The reasons are many and importantly new ones are cropping up every passing day. Some of the one's which owe to this unfortunate downfall are summarized as:

Internal leadership split

Right from the day PDP joined hands with BJP, it disgruntled a lot of veterans and party architects like Tariq Hameed Karra, Muzaffar Hussain Baig, Peer Hussain, Qazi Afzal etc. Worsening the crises party high command acted like an ostrich that hides its head in the sand. PDP instead of getting all the members on board decided to sideline all the disgruntled voices and handover the party affairs to inexperienced and non-political entities. Since the strings of the worker base lies with the veterans this led to a serious disconnection of the party with its ground level workers. The worker base which otherwise acts as the brand ambassadors of the party, started doing otherwise. This is how this huge negative word of mouth started making a voluminous bubble in the political arena.

Anti-people policies & Inability to check communalism 

People were waiting for improvement in traffic mess, improved urban planning, improved health sector and education sector. Nothing was visible on ground. The government started its functioning on a wrong note. Introducing a stipend based contractual government job policy was the first blow. Then traders cornered them on the issue of non-waiver of sales tax. Government even messed with RET's and was unable to address issues highlighted by NYC's. Dried up State coffers affected contractors, employees and general masses who were left penny less for months together.

Collation partner BJP's repeated attacks on Article 370 and article 35 (A) left PDP many a times red faced in public. Growing communal divide between Kashmir and Jammu has exposed PDP's inability to integrate the regions into a single political entity. Issue of composite town ships for Kashmir Pundits also landed Govt. in a serious mess. Inability to handle Beef Ban petition let all the hell loose which claimed the life of a poor Kashmiri boy.

Situation worsened when RSS armed march was allowed in Jammu and Moharram procession was choked with brute force in Kashmir.  

Flood Package fiasco

The only thing which PDP was hoping for will turn around their fortunes was the flood package. The package which by no means matches the loss estimated due to floods turned out to be a damp squib. 2000 Crore against 44000 crore is no ways a package, it's not even peanuts. Then the time it took them to announce a package; way too long and untimely. The expected life saving drug planned by PDP in the form of package is turning out to be a food poison of all sorts.

Youth Disconnect

The slogan of CHANGE which generated a lot of expectations has boomeranged and engulfed the entire youth structure of JK PDP. Youth played an important role in creating that undercurrent during elections. Post elections instead of getting a breather the present dispensation slapped youth with faulty employment policy, choked government jobs, pellet guns, brute force, nocturnal raids, harassment and torture. The dignity which PDP has promised to youth was seen scattered around lanes and roads of Kashmir.

PDP's Youth president involved himself in mudslinging of Senior Separatist leaders and praising Modi and RSS on Indian TV Channels. This has severely backfired and created a very negative perception of the party among youth. Right from the day he was given a post in CM's office, the youth president disconnected himself from youth activities of the party.

Since there is a possible change of guard, PDP has to do a lot to rework its deteriorated image. Getting stalwarts on board, reworking the right mix of candidates in the cabinet, cutting its partner to its size, revisiting its flood package and above all addressing youth related issues needs immediate attention. They still have more than 5 years (Subject to weather conditions. Pun Intended) at the helm and the rework can save the otherwise sunken ship of the green brigade.

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