Bargaining power

Mehbooba Mufti will have to learn to deal with her allies!

Untimely demise of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Syed has created a vacuum in Jammu and Kashmir politics. An able administrator and a humble soul, Mufti Mohammad Syed throughout his five decade political career pursued a political belief that strengthened bond of Jammu and Kashmir State with Indian union. He never deviated or compromise with his stated political position. He was holding this political belief by conviction. Starting his politics with Congress party he faced many ups and downs; made several political experiments and more than a decade earlier in most charged political atmosphere succeeded in changing the political hegemony within the state by shaping PDP out of political junk. However, at the end of his political career while making a unique political experiment; totally against the political tide in Kashmir he may or may not have left a mark or made a political blunder that only political analyst and historians will judge.   About a year earlier, after voters of Jammu and Kashmir flung a hung assembly on state’s political scene; PDP patriarch Mufti Mohammad Syed with highest number of members in his kitty haggled for almost two months with poles apart arch political rival BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party) to cobble a coalition to run the state against all odds. An agenda of alliance was drafted and accepted by both PDP and BJP to guide the coalition while sticking to their stated political positions at their own level. Mufti gambled a lot to enter into this alliance with a view to integrate all the three regions of the state and ensure peace not only in Kashmir but in the whole region. He tried to interpret the split mandate on regional basis as an opportunity to unite all the three regions through agenda of alliance. What followed this tough haggling and much talked about agenda of alliance and Mufti Syed’s dream of cohesion for next ten months is known to one and all? In this unique alliance BJP had much responsibility as it is holding power at center with a strong mandate, but it failed people of the state and particularly Mufti Mohammad Syed in providing much needed support to carrying forward the agenda of alliance.

After Mufti’S departure, Mehbooba as his caring daughter and shrewd politician deviated from beaten political path of “Kingships have no kinships”. Showing her strong reluctance in taking over as Chief Minister in haste and  breaking her political silence, she sent a veiled message regarding uneasy alliance to coalition partners and their mentors in center.

Showing her political maturity and love for her father’s political ideology in a tactical way Mehbooba Mufti has proved her political worth. But, now, is the time for PDP and its leadership to convey its alliance partners in clear terms that they have failed in keeping their promise. Remind them in unequivocal way of their behavior, when at times they belittled PDP and its leadership both at political and administrative front. There should be no ambiguity in conveying this loud and clear message of failure. It is moral responsibility of Mehbooba and her party to discipline BJP as they hold clear mandate within the valley. With every influence at its command; a well-oiled national political party and an established government at center BJP will once again try to bully PDP into its trap of ‘having the cake and eat it too’. Mehbooba Mufti as astute politician with her clean political and administrative canvas should stand firmly and set the political record of her late father right. Otherwise, the people who reposed their trust in PDP a year earlier will surely push Mehbooba Mufti and her party to political oblivions and will put a blemishing mark on otherwise effective political career of her late father that too at the end of his crucial political innings.