In what can be considered as big breaking political development ahead of 2019 general elections, in Jammu and Kashmir, PDP and the Congress are likely to stitch up an alliance backed by the NC to form a popular government in the state.
The Governor’s rule in the state was imposed after the tussle between PDP and BJP reached a breaking point. In June, the BJP withdrew from the alliance in J&K. The Governor’s rule in the state is set to end on 19 December after completing its six months period. It has been proposed to impose President’s rule in the state thereafter but according to Governor Satyapal Malik, the 87-member assembly is not being dissolved.
Political circles of Jammu and Kashmir are full with speculations that efforts are being made to prop up a government led by Sajjad Lone’s People Conference, which has only two MLAs but it would be looking for the BJP’s support which has 25 MLAs. However, this combination would still require 17 more law makers to achieve the majority mark of 44. The only way to get this required number is to split the PDP which has been rocked by dissidence.
On the other hand, according to sources, the NC, the Congress, and the PDP are in touch to thwart any attempt of the BJP to form the government. It the rumors are to be believed, these parties might stitch up an alliance to form a popular government in the state.
Three megalomaniac dynastic forces coming together is not at all surprising given the spectacular performance of the BJP in the recently concluded state Panchayat polls. In Srinagar, an independent leader- Junaid Mattu- was elected as the mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC). He was supported by the Sajjad Lone’s People’s Conference and BJP. The victory of an independent candidate is considered as a massive setback to parties like NC, PDP, and the Congress who consider Kashmir as its fiefdom.
Sajjad Lone along with rebel PDP MLA and influential Shia leader Imran Raza Ansari played a key role in the victory of Junaid Mattu. They launched a positive campaign in favor of Junaid Mattu. Sajjad Lone was a minister in the BJP-PDP coalition government in the Jammu and Kashmir from the BJP quota.
Junaid Mattu is a former spokesperson of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference. He quit the party citing ‘humble disagreement’ with the boycott of local body polls. On Twitter, Junaid Mattu had said, “Based on my humble disagreement with the party’s decision to boycott the upcoming ULB and Panchayat Polls, I have just sent my resignation from the party to the JKNC General Secretary.”
This coming together of all the parties who practice dynasty politics is opportunistic. They are coming together due to their existential crisis, and to save their political existence in the state. Party leaders of NC and the PDP revolted against their party’s decision to boycott state Panchayat polls. A founder member of PDP, Muzzafar Beigh also expressed thoughts similar to Lone. In a Press Conference, he said, “the PDP betrayed the workers, denying them a chance to connect with the people, by boycotting the elections. They left a vacuum and that space has now been occupied. Politics does not wait for people who boycott.” He also said, “Now this talk of NC-PDP alliance. How will people of Jammu react? How will people of Ladakh react? It will be an alliance of one religion. Jammu would not like it, Ladakh will not remain part of the state. This will lead to trifurcation of the state.”
How will Jammu react? It will be an all Muslim alliance, how will Ladakh react? These irresponsible talks will only lead to trifurcation of J&K. Ladakh&Jammu will not remain a part of the state which is ruled by only one community:PDP MP Muzaffar Baig on potential NC-PDP alliance pic.twitter.com/1jgGBOT8mM
— ANI (@ANI) November 21, 2018
On Third front, Beigh went on to say, “Sajad Lone is like my son. I had contested the elections that led to registration of Peoples Conference as a political party. If Sajad (Lone) is interested in (formation of third front), it should be encouraged. People want something different from the beaten track”. He continued, “Sajad has not contacted me directly. The BJP has not contacted me (on government formation or third front formation). However, there are people within the party (PDP) who want an elected government.”