quite expected

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 23 Nov 2018 11:55:49

THAT Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Mr. Satyapal Malik thought it necessary to dissolve the State Assembly should not come as a surprise. The manner in which the political atmosphere was evolving, there appeared to be hardly any choice for the Governor but to dissolve the Assembly which was under suspended animation since June 19 following the resignation of the Mehbooba Mufti Government. Even though there were no signs of reconciliation between the two ruling front partners, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Ms. Mehbooba Mufti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the Governor gave them enough time for reconciliation of their differences. Wednesday’s action of the Governor clearly indicated that he found no meeting ground between the two, nor was there a possibility of any other political configuration working out to provide the alternative. 

Ms. Mehbooba Mufti did try her hand at cobbling up a semblance of a new coalition with the Congress and the National Conference in a desperate attempt to form the Government. But the Governor did not see any likelihood of these three disparate groups of political parties ensuring a stable Government to the State and thought it prudent to dissolve the Assembly once for all. In these circumstances, the Governor’s apprehension of parties indulging in horse trading was not entirely unfounded. Instead of allowing such corrupt practice gain currency, which did not promise any stability of governance, the Governor very rightly chose to dissolve the Assembly.

In fact in the very first place Ms. Mehbooba Mufti and the BJP coming together to form the Government after Assembly elections was in itself an unnatural and untenable happening as the two parties never saw eye to eye with each other on several issues concerning Jammu and Kashmir. Ms. Mehbooba’s pronounced sympathies with separatist elements would never have gone well with the BJP. These differences on policy matters, especially the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) was the bone of contention between the two parties.

It was these irreconcilable differences that had the seeds of collapse of the BJP-PDP alliance. The inevitable happened, Ms. Mehbooba Government had to quit. Allowing the same situation to develop again was not the obvious option before Governor Mr. Malik. The situation in the sensitive State is such that it needs a stable Government to take care of not only its developmental needs but also lend strong support to the security forces to deal with the perpetual problem of insurgency and terrorism. A lame duck Government, which Ms. Mehbooba had tried to cobble up with the NC and Congress, would have been of no use. Governor Mr. Malik’s primary concern must have been this thought in taking such a drastic decision. Political conditions appear to have forced the Governor’s hands in dissolving the Assembly.

The coming together of the three parties, PDP, National Conference and the Congress, has been described by the BJP as a “combination of terror friendly parties.” This may be a harsh assessment but there is no denying that from time to time they have expressed their sympathies with those elements who are responsible for destabilisation of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

As rightly said by the BJP, in the given politically unstable circumstances the best option is to go in for earliest polls. The State urgently needs a stable, functioning Government. The recent heavy turn-out of voters for Panchayat elections in the State shows the eagerness and faith of the people in the electoral process. This is indicative of the mood of the people to restore democratic functioning of the Government. The ball is now in the court of the Central Government. The process for fresh elections should be set in motion as early as possible to end uncertainty.