March 15, 2015

BJP-PDP government formation in Kashmir: Why it was needed

Politics is game of uncertainties where often seemingly impossible becomes possible. After 49 days of governor rule Jammu and Kashmir finally saw a government of elected representatives. BJP-PDP alliance formed the government. Soon to be octogenarian, 79 years old mufti Mohammed Saeed took oath as per the constitution of “India” to uphold the “unity and integrity of the country”. BJP-PDP alliance is being called coming together the two poles as BJP-PDP could not be any more different in their core ideologies. On the same day Nirmal Singh was sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister. Furthermore, Sajjad Lone a former separatist leader also took oath as a cabinet minister though much to his displeasure he got Animal husbandry department.

Making the occasion special, Narendra Modi himself was present along with L.K.Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Ram Madhav, a man who played a key role in the discussions during the run up to the government. PDP legislator Haseeb Drabu, who was the chief negotiator from the party in formulating a Common Minimum Program (CMP), was welcomed by the Prime Minister with all hugs and smiles for making the BJP-PDP alliance possible.

The success of these elections holds a many promises to its people. The recent flood that had inundated almost entire valley caused great damage in the state and daunting task of rehabilitation lies ahead. The task of bridging the gap between the three regions Jammu, Kashmir and Laddakh is going to be a big challenge. This is where maximum opportunities lie for BJP making inroads into the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir. 

The most important outcome of BJP-PDP alliance is coming together of two different regions of Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu emerged as a BJP stronghold region whereas Kashmir was almost swiped by PDP. Jammu has had historical grievances since independence and people of Jammu allege step motherly treatment from Srinagar.
This BJP-PDP government is emancipation of hopes of people of Jammu region. There are other important issues like Section 370 and resettlement of Kasmiri Pundits. The issue of refugees (mainly Hindu) from Pakistan also remains very vital. The Armed Forces special powers act is also another very important issue which is very vital to the people of Kashmir region.

For now, BJP has put the section 370 on a backburner and it is a good and farsighted decision. At this moment especially after the devastating floods, the issues like development and rehabilitation are more important as they will bring immediate relief to the people of the state. Though section 370 is one of the core issues of BJP since the time of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee but at this moment providing relief to the people is more important.
In a statement, the BJP spokesman Khalid Jahangir said, “The BJP-PDP government is committed to serve the people and provide them with all the possible relief. “He further said, “New government would ensure that all the issues concerning common people are addressed and they get all the benefits of the centrally sponsored schemes.
Any decision on AFSPA will be taken after consulting and taking the army on board. This would also require a thorough check of ground realties in the notified disturbed areas.

The resettlement of Kashmiri pundits and refugees from Pakistan is one issue which in my opinion is the most important right now. Refugee status is one’s own country is moral defeat for any government worth its salt. I am certain the BJP under the leadership of Narendra Modi would leave no stone unturned to bring respite to these people.
 “People of Jammu and Kashmir have voted for a change and new government is committed to bring the change,” he added. The Laddakh region often gets overshadowed by the bitterness of the two other parts of Jammu and Kashmir.
The people of Kashmir region also have their share of grievances. With the start of militancy in the late 80s, Kashmir lost an entire generation, as in the future of those who were in their youth was held hostage to the separatist elements in the society. It didn’t bring good to anyone. Mothers lost sons, wives lost husbands and families were destroyed because the earning members were either languishing in jails or lost their lives to militancy.

A land aptly called heaven or earth for which Shahjahan once said “Gar Fardaus baru e zamin asto, hami asto hami asto hami asto”, meaning if there is paradise on earth it is here. Kashmir is named after sage Kashyap and has a rich history of Buddhism. The state has immense potential of growth particularly in handicrafts industry and tourism. This BJP-PDP dispensation is paving way for a more representative government. 

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