After much dilly-dallying, the irrelevant national party of India–Congress–has decided to join hands with the bandwagon of separatists in Jammu and Kashmir, who, for times immemorial have been masquerading as mainstream political leaders. The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for more than a year now has not seen any major electoral process take place, and the upcoming District Development Council (DDC) polls are being touted as an important stepping stone for the valley to embrace democracy. It must be remembered that earlier, subsequent to being released from their house arrest, all the irrelevant and redundant ‘political leaders’ of Kashmir had come under one umbrella to sign the Gupkar Declaration.
The Gupkar Declaration, to put it simply, demands for the reinstatement of Article 370, and demands full statehood for Jammu and Kashmir. Essentially, it demands that the valley be reverted to how it was prior to the Modi government’s bold move of abrogating Article 370. For the Congress to now join hands with such a gang of notorious political leaders is indeed shameful, and goes on to show how the Gandhi-run party has now made it officially known that they would fight for the reinstatement of the draconian Article 370.
The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) on Friday joined the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD). As of now, six other political parties – NC, PDP, People’s Conference, People’s Movement, CPI(M) and Awami National Conference (ANC) are a part of the People’s Alliance, which is the group of parties seeking the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. While the People’s Alliance had earlier said in no uncertain terms that they would boycott all elections in the valley until Article 370 and Kashmir’s special status was restored, the closet separatists have now made a U-turn, and are all set to contest the DDC polls beginning later this month.
Congress is a party on its deathbed. For it to join the People’s Alliance in Kashmir and go up in arms against the Modi government’s decision to abrogate Article 370 is, to say the least, suicidal. It must be remembered that the revocation Kashmir’s special status was a move made in the national interest, and as such, was appreciated by people cutting across the political spectrum. Even top Congress leaders had welcomed the move. The Congress, however, committing itself to fight for Kashmir’s special status being restored is a particularly myopic decision, which will result in the party only turning into a national untouchable.
Already, the Congress is suffering a public mockery onslaught for its embarrassing performance in the Bihar elections, which has resulted in an all-out war of words between the Gandhi-loyalists and RJD. The RJD minced no words and squarely blamed the Congress for dragging the Mahagathbandhandown, rendering it incapable to form the government. RJD leader Shivanand Tiwari had said, “Elections were in full swing here and Rahul Gandhi was having a picnic at Priyanka Ji’s house in Shimla. Is the party run like that?” Due to its hilarious performance in Bihar, the Congress now stares at the prospect of being alienated in states like Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Assam, where regional players will now be all the warier of allying with the Congress and losing elections which perhaps, they could potentially win alone.
The Congress, in any case, is much of a divided house, and senior leaders of the party are no longer shying away from calling out the inept leadership of the Gandhis. Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav has also ruled out an alliance with the Congress for the 2022 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. “Adjustment will be done with smaller parties, but there will be no alliance with larger parties,” Yadav said at a press conference.
With the Congress joining hands in Kashmir with elements perceived as anti-India, its electoral prospects all across the country are bound to take a massive hit. Already having hit rock bottom, however, the Congress perhaps fears losing no more and is desperately taking steps in the small valley of Kashmir to at least remain relevant in the year-old Union Territory.
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