Disintegrating Coalition!

This blame game is not good for Kashmir and Kashmiris!

In distant Washington, away from the hawkish gaze of coalition creatures like Mamta and Karuna Nidhi Congress leader Pranab Mukharjee made public the real face of coalition politics in India, by saying “It cannot be denied that some reforms have slowed down in India due to pressure of coalition politics”. This admission of ground realities about coalition dharma speaks a lot about discomfort within united progressive alliance (UPA). Coalition politics has plagued almost entire subcontinent and India is experiencing this scenario of split peoples mandate more briskly, both at federal and the state level. However, with every passing election it becomes clear that Indian political system is not attuned to coalition mantra; making the existing political system murkier. Blackmailing, tantrums and trickery are the biggest attributes of present political structure and credit goes to growing coalition politics. For the last more than nine years Jammu and Kashmir State is also in the whirlpool of coalition politics. Ending an era of one party and single family rule, Indian National congress re-entered into bumpy state political arena with a new political product (PDP) and the coalition last for more than five years, however ending at a bad note of alleged deception. The alliance of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and congress was based on clear terms of equality with rotational leadership of Mufti Muhammad Syeed and Ghulam Nabi Azad but even the factor of parity could not prevent the acrimony within the coalition partners. Open spats between senior functionaries of political partnership, particularly Mangat Ram Sharma and Muzaffar Hussain Beigh became a routine during the Congress, PDP political marriage.

The present much hyped political coalition of National Conference (NC) and Congress started in 2009, comparatively on a promissory note of unanimity and perfect governance. The alliance was forged more because of Congress’s antagonism towards PDP rather than a hand of genuine cooperation towards NC. Whatever the reasons, intentions and political ambitions; the political fate of people of Jammu and Kashmir once again came under the direct or indirect control of Abdullah dynasty. In the beginning Congress party along with the powerful Kashmir think tank in Delhi showered greater degree of generosity towards Abdullahs, but obviously with a precondition that only Omar Abdullah will lead the administrative face of National Conference. Congress even sacrificed its rotational leadership claim. With this political formula Congress tried to kill too many birds with one stone. On one hand they tried to restrain the overambitious PDP and on the other they tried to pursue their own political agenda through weak and somewhat battered National Conference. But Congress leadership both in Delhi and Srinagar; as always played ostrich by overlooking political ground realities and hard facts in Jammu and Kashmir (Kashmir valley in particular).

Now, after completing its third anniversary the present NC, Congress alliance has ventured on bumpy track of hostility and is showing visible fissures. Earlier wrapped under thin layers of egotism and individual political agenda, now the bitterness has come to open. It seems that the marriage of political convenience is getting weaker with every passing day. For last more than two weeks Congress party and its factional leaders in the state have shelved their own differences and are out to give sleepless nights to NC and its leadership. Sworn enemies like Azad and Soz have started contemptuous attacks against the working pattern of the present government, even after being aware of the fact that they are equal partners in this political dispensation with equal responsibilities. Azad has come out openly against the NC led government on developmental issues and Soz is settling his score on the issue of empowerment of Panchayats. NC, like any other shrewd old guard is playing its own game— Hamiem Damiem (blow hot blow cold) through veterans like Dr. Mustafa Kamal & company. A step further towards weakening coalition, on 24th of April Chief Minister Omar Abdullah at Kalakote Rajori spelled out his brewing anger against Congress. Speaking his mind and heart by giving a much awaited hard hitting reply to state Congress, Omar Abdullah said “He (Soz) should discuss these issues in coordination committee——, we have asked our leaders and workers to avoid confrontation, but the way Congress leaders were publicly speaking against the government, we may not be able to control our leaders”. This discordant situation within the coalition partners is not a healthy sign for politically sensitive state like Jammu and Kashmir and will prove counterproductive for the development of the state. The present coalition partners (particularly Congress) instead of blackmailing each other should respect the people’s mandate and work in unison for the best of the state and its people.

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