A vote for BJP in Jammu will be a vote for Muslim CM from Kashmir

The BJP again betrayed the people of Jammu province on November 21, the day J&K Governor dissolved the assembly

A vote for BJP in Jammu will be a vote for Muslim CM from Kashmir
A vote for BJP in Jammu will be a vote for Muslim CM from Kashmir

The fact that BJP was willing to accept the 2-MLA party chief from Kashmir Sajad Lone as the state’s new CM only proves that it has no regard for the people of Jammu province and Ladakh region

In 2014, the people of Jammu province voted overwhelmingly for the BJP both in the Lok Sabha elections and the assembly polls. It won all the two Lok Sabha seats and 25 out of 37 assembly seats with huge margins. The people of Jammu voted for the BJP under the notion that a vote for it would be a vote against the 67-year-old politics of separatism, against the Kashmiri Muslim-dominated and Kashmir-centric rule, against dynastic rule of Abdullahs and Muftis, for the state’s complete integration into India, for their own empowerment and for a political status equal to that of Kashmiri Muslims. Their belief had stemmed from the speeches delivered by the BJP’s top leaders, including PM Narendra Modi. Indeed, the BJP contested the Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the name of Jammu and Ladakh and on the plank of national integration.

The BJP signed what was called the PDP-BJP agenda of the alliance, which was nothing but an agenda of subversion and another rivet in the chain of Jammu’s and Ladakh’s slavery

Sadly, the BJP belied all the hopes of the people of Jammu and Ladakh by stitching an alliance with the Kashmir-based, militant and Pakistan-friendly, anti-Jammu and anti-Ladakh People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Its argument was that the PDP was the largest party in the assembly with 28 seats and it had been left with no option but to become a junior partner in the coalition government. It handed over everything on a platter to the PDP. It not only handed over the office of Chief Minister to the PDP for a full term of six years but also allowed the PDP to control all vital portfolios, including Home, Finance, Planning, Revenue, Education, Tourism, Law and Parliamentary Affairs and Agriculture. Not just this, the BJP — much to the chagrin of the people of Jammu province — allowed the PDP to function as if it was a one-party rule. As if all this was not enough to outrage the sensitivities of the people of Jammu province and subvert the mandate, the BJP gave in writing to the PDP that it would not touch Article 370 and that New Delhi will initiate talks with Pakistan and Hurriyat to resolve the Kashmir issue. The BJP called Pakistan and Hurriyat leaders stakeholders in the state, which was, and is, legitimately Indian.

In effect, the BJP signed what was called the PDP-BJP agenda of the alliance, which was nothing but an agenda of subversion and another rivet in the chain of Jammu’s and Ladakh’s slavery. The PDP-BJP rule between March 1, 2015, and June 19, 2018, was the worst-ever rule Jammu and Ladakh witnessed. Jammu and Ladakh suffered enormous socio-economic and political losses. And the nation suffered because of the PDP’s soft approach towards separatists and terrorists, as also because of the PDP’s highly obnoxious healing touch policy. The fact of the matter is that the plight of the people of Jammu and Ladakh was never so miserable as it was during the misrule of the PDP-BJP and the nation felt helpless, as the BJP continued to bungle at regular intervals. Ironically, the BJP toed the PDP line and defended its all acts of omission and commission as well as its highly discriminatory policies. It would be no exaggeration to say that the BJP followed the Nehruvian line in J&K and further muddied the Indian waters in the state for the sake of power and profit.

On June 19, the BJP snapped ties with the PDP in a dramatic manner. The announcement to this effect was made in New Delhi. Defending withdrawal of support to the PDP, the BJP leaders said that the party severed ties with the PDP because it had not dispensed justice to the people of Jammu and Ladakh and because it failed to handle the problem of separatism and cult of terrorism in an effective manner. The people of Jammu heaved a sigh of relief. They thought that the BJP had learned lessons from its past mistakes and that its whole political approach towards the Kashmiri leaders and towards Jammu and Ladakh had undergone a significant change.

It’s difficult to say if the BJP would be able to convince the people of Jammu province and Ladakh region that it is a party with a difference

However, the BJP again betrayed the people of Jammu province on November 21, the day J&K Governor dissolved the assembly and defended his decision saying he took this step to avoid horse-trading and preserve democratic norms. He dissolved the assembly hours after PDP leader and former minister Altaf Bukhari gave media persons in Srinagar to understand that the PDP, the NC and the Congress were all set to form a grand alliance and form coalition government in the state. He even declared that the grand alliance could approach the Governor in the evening to stake the claim for formation of the government. Later on, it became clear that the so-called grand alliance had been formed to defend the state’s special status and protect anti-democratic, anti-people, divisive and discriminatory Articles 35A and 370, notwithstanding the fact that neither the NC nor the Congress had given a letter of support to the PDP.

However, I will skip what the Governor did and what the leaders of the so-called grand alliance, including Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and Ghulam Ahmad Mir did and said on November 21 and 22. I will focus on another point: The claim of the People’s Conference (PC) chief and former minister Sajad Lone that he also had the required numbers to form coalition government in the state, but he couldn’t stake his claim as the fax machine at the Governor’s residence didn’t receive his fax to that effect. Mehbooba Mufti of the PDP had also said the same while questioning the Governor. She, like other leaders of the grand alliance, in fact, accused the Governor of murdering democracy.

What did Sajad Lone say while staking a claim for forming a coalition government? He said that he enjoyed the support of all the 25 BJP MLAs and he also had the support of “18 other MLAs”. Former Dy CM in the Mehbooba Mufti’s government and senior BJP leader Kavinder Gupta on November 27 acknowledged that the “BJP was supporting Sajad Lone”. The Sajad Lone’s PC had only two MLAs. In other words, he claimed that he had the support 44 MLAs in the 87-member J&K assembly. What does all this show? It only showed that the BJP was more than willing to barter Jammu to fulfil its insatiable lust for power and profit. The fact that it was willing to accept the 2-MLA party chief from Kashmir Sajad Lone as the state’s new CM only proves that it has no regard for the people of Jammu province and Ladakh region, who gave it a status and that it could go to any extent to hurt them and hurt their interests.

The question is: Who will the people of Jammu now vote for? They hate the politics, the NC, the PDP and the Congress-style and that’s was the reason that they defeated all the three Kashmir-centric outfits and voted for the BJP.  It’s difficult to say if the BJP would be able to convince the people of Jammu province and Ladakh region that it is a party with a difference, that it really believed in the empowerment of the people of these two regions and that a vote for it in Jammu and Ladakh will be a vote for Jammu and Ladakh, and not a vote for Muslim CM from Kashmir.

In the meantime, Jammu & Kashmir Governor SP Malik has exposed the BJP and said: had he acted at the behest of the Centre, Sajad Lone would have formed the government and he would have gone down in history as a dishonest man. “If he had looked towards Delhi for instructions, Sajad Lone would have formed the government. And I would have gone down in history as a dishonest man. So I ended this matter. New they (Delhi) can abuse me but I am convinced that what I did, is right,”

Note:
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

Hari Om Mahajan

Hari Om Mahajan

Hari Om Mahajan is former Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Jammu.
Hari Om Mahajan

7 COMMENTS

  1. Mahajan’s write is off tangent.
    Modi and Shah combination yielded good dividends so far. Problem with both is that they do not like people capable of taking bold decisions at the backdrop of solid Admin experience. BJP leadership prefers those who do not bring Votes into their kitty. On J&K BJP did tight rope walking. But succeeded in showing few “developmental works” here and there and dared to hold elections at lower levels.
    On corruption issue also Modi has been slow and woking up after Dr.S.Swamy’s letters written to him!

  2. The reader Shri Vishwanath Krishnamoorthy put the ground level situation in J&K s uccintly. The Jammu province could have ensured victory for all BJP Candidates for 37 assembly constituencies in Jammu, which would have ensured BJP CM from Jammu, that was not done by the electorates in Jammu region. He has correctly analysed that PM Modi and Amit Shah can win elections, but winning opprobrium through good conduct, successful & effective functioning rest with the BJP MLAs and BJP Ministers where they were lacking to a great extent. BJP should not admit and give tickets to Congi Aayaa Rams, Gayaa Rams. They are turn coats, self centred and only after power and pelf. They care hoot for peoples welfare. When such is the calibre of elected BJP MLAs then the result is a forgone conclusion. Lesson to BJP is not only in J&K, in the entire breadth and length of India, give tickets to upright, hard working, result oriented candidates having NATIONAL OUTLOOK. Otherwise, BJP will be doomed.

    The nation will be indebted to the present Governor of J&K Shri Satpal Malik, if he quashes surreptitious inserted Special provisions for J&K State 35A & 370 inserted through Presidential Order, by STRIKING DOWN THE SAME AS UNCONSTITUTIONAL on or before 18th December 2018.
    He is likely to be transferred to another State shortly, in that case Retired Maj Gen Bakshi would be right choice for J&K Governor post.

  3. I have read some of authors articles.but this sounds too harsh on BJP.Everyone knew that pdp was pro independence but BJP did not have an option other than joining hands with pdp since the verdict was fractured where Hindu and Buddhist region voted for BJP and Kashmir for pdp.In this circumstances even if the elections had been conducted again verdict would have been same.unfortunately Mufti died early and government was headed by his daughter who did not have the stature of her father. Let us be pragmatic it is not possible to abrogate article 370 which will result in more alienation of kashmiris.what kashmir needs is more confidence building measures and it needs to be told unequivocally that how much ever violence is let loose India will never give in to the demand of kashmiri independence.

  4. For an author who has otherwise scripted some really lovely columns especially highlighting the historical facts of J&K, this one seems to be driven by an emotional burst throwing the realpolitik element completely out of the window.
    It is a fact that BJP-PDP tie up was set to doomed with two diametrically opposite ideas coming together. But Mr Mahajan will agree that if BJP had not cobbled up and had the minimum toehold in Kashmir which has a lot of mess to clear, India would have lost much more. A congress-pdp alliance etc will have made matters tougher for the Army and the country as a whole. The choice was simple with the mandate the entire state of J&K gave for BJP.. Sit out in the opposition.. Nothing would have changed and it would have been very hard for the union govt and the Army to cleanse the valley.
    I must add that the PDP combine did not make it a cakewalk for teh army either. The PDP govt took BJP round the garden and literally extorted its pound of flesh in the govt. The BJP despite winning in Jammu and Ladakh did not have good leaders. Do not forget that the winning party today is more by top leader charisma alone and the actual leaders elected in Jammu and Ladakh failed to deliver.
    While it is ideal to have a situation where Ladakh and Jammu are not losing out to the ransom game played by Kashmir, the truth is that today the state is one complete state.
    A complete majority is the way to empower a government and with the multi party democracy and the third rate choices of candidates each party puts up, it is very hard to have an effective govt.
    The BJP on its part needs to cleanse its leadership lot in J&K.. The present leaders are the old type money bag politician without an exception. To expect a change you need a hardworking CM and a decent lot of local leaders under his command.. If you can prevail, you must get modi and shah to ensure they get some leaders on ground who can work.. It is not that Modi and Shah failed.. They win the elections in most places on their credibility but the clowns they leave behind make it a mess again.. Frankly, today Sajad Lone comes out as the only sane thinking and willing to work politician in the valley from any party.
    The kavinder guptas of the world are not the ones who can deliver.. the issue is less with the party but more with the kind of brains, hands and legs it leaves in teh state after winning
    J&K’s best bet today is with BJP.. BJP needs to learn to deliver better not just in J&K but in many other states where it won big – be it Rajasthan, Haryana.. Their grievance is pretty much the same perhaps minus a mufti and abdullah

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