It seems that the PDP is not able to get out of the rough patch that it is facing. First, it was given a telling blow by the BJP, and now there are reports of PDP MLAs getting disillusioned with the party and planning to move over to other factions. Yesterday, certain news reports had suggested that a set of disgruntled PDP MLAs are considering a third front government in the state by snubbing their party president, Mehbooba Mufti. PDP MLA Abid Ansari said that he was in touch with former state finance minister and PDP legislator Haseeb Dabru discussing the possibility of a third front government in the state. Ansari made it clear that they don’t want to be part of the PDP run by Mehbooba Mufti and will float a new party. He did not stop here, and launched a scathing attack on the former chief minister stating that the PDP president was running a “dynastic rule”. Reports suggested that the MLAs may ally either with the Congress-National Conference or even the BJP in order to form a new government in the state which is currently under President’s rule.
Theatest reports about the political circumstances in the state, however, give a totally different picture highly inclined towards the BJP. It appears that Sajad Lone could be the next chief minister of the state. Around 14-15 disillusioned PDP MLAs, along with a few independents, might join hands the BJP to form a new government after the Amarnath Yatra is concluded. This can be taken as an indication of a massive and unprecedented rebellion against Mufti, which must have taken her by surprise. If BJP ally Lone becomes the next chief minister, it will be a shot in the arm not only for the BJP, but for everyone who wants to rid the state of separatism and terrorism.
Sajjad Lone represents the brewing sentiment against terrorism and separatism in the valley. The former separatist’s story is a roller coaster ride about how someone who used to profess secessionism, now stands firmly in allegiance with India. Ever since his father was assassinated, Sajjad Lone realised the futility of separatism and terrorism in the valley. He even reached out to prime minister Modi and spoke at length about the interests of the state. The former separatist also praised prime minister Modi in the state legislative assembly in a clear indication of unconditional support to the statesman. Sajjad Lone has not only snubbed separatism but he is also ready to work with the pan-India party in order to bring Kashmir on the path of development.
Sajjad Lone, by speaking up against the anti-social elements in the state has not only given a telling blow but also the liberal mafia who have targeted him time and again with the most baseless of insinuations. In 2015, Sajjad Lone who was then a minister in the BJP-PDP government had stated that RSS has a right to be in Kashmir if people accept it and that those who waive Pakistani flags should go to that country. Omar Abdullah had come out criticising Lone over this clearly suggesting high levels of frustration in the pseudo-liberal tribe about how an ex-separatist had exposed the anti-social elements in Kashmir.
Sajjad Lone becoming the chief minister of the state is the best-case scenario for the BJP. It will send across a strong message and also help the BJP in its narrative of uprooting separatism from the valley. Sajjad Lone is more amenable to the BJP and its nationalist ideology than Mufti could ever have been. Since BJP will be the central force in the alliance with others revolving around it, the BJP will be in firm control of affairs of the state. Even though these are just news reports and their turning into reality might be far-fetched, the BJP will fancy its chances in the state. A full-fledged, popular government wielding actual power till the end of the term, with Lone as the chief minister, might be a better bet than President’s rule for a period of six months.