*Statement on collapse of PDP-BJP alliance: The break-up is nothing but a staged drama by the alliance partners to rid themselves of any accountability. They are fleeing, in order to erase their sins and escape questions from the public.*
By- Shehla Rashid Shora
For the last three years, PDP and BJP – two reactionary, populist parties – have been fooling people in the name of “agenda of alliance” and “people’s mandate”, etc., shamelessly holding on to power despite the failures on political, social and economic fronts. After having failed on every single front, now a drama is being staged in order to preempt any questions and to foreclose the possibility of having any mechanism of fixing accountability. If “failure of govt” is the reason for BJP to have broken the alliance, then they should do so at the Centre govt level too, because the Modi govt is a total failure on all counts.
The BJP and PDP are now engaging in blame game and accusing one another of being responsible for the failure of the alliance. However, the alliance itself was a massive failure that has polarised the state on religious lines.
Beginning with the political failures, the nature of the alliance itself betrayed the mandate of the people. The state has been pushed to a political crisis comparable to that during the 90s. Militant ranks have swollen and popular support for armed insurgency has increased. Countless civilians have been killed in the name of sham operations such as “Operation All Out”. We have seen an unfortunate politicization and communalisation of the Army. When civilians were being killed and blinded with pellets, PDP let the people down by holding on to this unholy alliance, silencing human rights activists and berating critics who asked questions. The ratification of GST by the State Assembly has not only undermined Article 370 and pushed the state toward lesser autonomy; it has also destroyed businesses in the entire state. While Modi govt’s disastrous policies such as demonetization and GST were being criticized throughout India, the PDP-BJP govt in the state unnecessarily extended GST to J&K. Human rights violations have peaked under the present regime. The govt has completely failed to reach out to civilians and establish peace and order. It is shameful that Ms. Mehbooba Mufti now talks about humane policy as opposed to muscular policy. It was under her watch that Farooq Dar, an innocent civilian, was tied to a jeep and paraded. She failed to stand up for her people then. Now, she has no right to talk about humane policy. The government has even failed to nab the murderers of veteran journalist Shujaat Bukhari.
On the economic front, the state govt has borrowed huge sums of money from the centre in order to be able to fund its development budget. The fund allocation to various schemes has been completely haphazard, and money was constantly diverted from one scheme to another in an unconstitutional manner. As a result, various govt employees who were recruited under various policies, such as SRO 202 and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan are suffering without pay! This is criminal. Now, the question arises as to what will happen to all the schemes that were dependent on the survival of the alliance. Neither has flood compensation reached the victims properly, nor are salaries being disbursed. The alliance partners are now trying to flee after having pushed the state into a political and economic crisis.
On the social front, the state govt has failed to stand up for victims and survivors of sexual violence. The Kathua rape case and the Kulgam sex trafficking scandal involved the government’s own Ministers and MLAs respectively. But no proactive measures against them were taken by the CM who herself is a woman. PDP should have broken the alliance over human rights violations or over the Kathua case. Now, they are only fleeing to escape public accountability.
Corruption and nepotism has peaked under this government and that is responsible for pushing the youth further away from the mainstream. With what authority can a govt ask young people to come to mainstream.With what authority can a govt ask young people to come to mainstream when the mainstream is filled with family members and caste brethren? It’s a shame that the South Kashmir Parliamentary seat does not have an elected representative, because the government wanted someone from the first family to rule the constituency. The break up of the alliance is a means for PDP and BJP to wash their hands off all these sins.
Going by the BJP’s statements, it is clear that they intend to rule the state through the Governor. This is unhealthy for democracy and it will become a means to unleash atrocities on the people, as under Jagmohan’s rule who could not even ensure safety of Kashmiri Pandits in their own state. Elections to the State Assembly must be held at the earliest, and people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh should hold PDP and BJP accountable during the electoral process.