Home Contact Us  
   

J&K - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#4790, 31 December 2014
 
J&K Government Formation: Tight Rope Walk
Shujaat Bukhari
Editor, Rising Kashmir
 

Jammu and Kashmir state is witnessing a confusing situation in the aftermath of Assembly elections that threw up a fractured mandate. A record high turnout, notwithstanding, no party is in a position to form a government. Even the game of cobbling up the numbers is becoming difficult, as the divergent political ideologies are still keeping the parties away from the negotiating table. To go or not to go, is the question for which the two major political parties – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) – are struggling to find an answer for.

The high voter turnout that was witnessed despite boycott calls by separatists was expected to throw a “perfect mandate” but it divided the seats in an interesting manner. In contrast to expectations (of the party) as also the exit poll results, PDP could not secure 35 seats which could have placed it in a better position. Out of 87 seats, PDP could get only 28, BJP 25, National Conference 15, Congress 12 and others 7. Had PDP won 35 or more seats, it might have been in a position to easily cobble up with non-BJP forces. Even as NC offered the support, which in every sense was real and Congress also extended an unconditional hand, but there seem to be two important issues involved in taking the final decision vis-a-vis the support of the NC-Congress combination or NC and Congress separately.

One that NC and Congress were voted out of power by the people and joining the hands with either of them would mean disrespecting the mandate and the urge of people for the change. There is no denying the fact that in contrast to its complete drubbing in Parliament elections held in April 2014, NC has made a strong comeback by winning 12 seats from Kashmir valley and three from Jammu. Still the anti-incumbency was riding high during the elections, which cannot be negated. Moreover, NC and PDP getting together seems impossible given the inherent “ideological hate” both Abdullah and Mufti families are harbouring against each other.

On the other hand Congress has won the seats by accident as they based the candidates in the respective constituencies. Otherwise people’s ire against Congress that broke all the records of corruption was more evident on the ground. Humiliating defeat the party tasted in its strong bastion and home turf of its stalwart Ghulam Nabi Azad speaks volumes about how people treated the party that had invested so much in the region.

Another important factor, that apparently comes in way of a grand alliance talked about by senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad is that the majority of people in Jammu region have given their mandate to BJP. The mandate is clearer than what we saw in Kashmir valley. The BJP candidates won with huge margins ranging from 45,000 to 10,000 in most of constituencies, which clearly indicates how people threw their weight behind the right-wing part. In Kashmir that was not the case since the margins were thin in majority of the segments. So in the process of government formation, it is this mandate that is upsetting any permutation and combination based on the so-called “secular ideologies”.

Though there is an element of anti-Kashmir sentiment in the voting pattern in Jammu, at the same time to form a government without the participation of elected representatives of a region may not augur well for the health of the state. Of late there is also a debate going on around the idea of having a different “grand alliance” between PDP, BJP and Congress to ensure that all the three regions of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh are on board since Congress won three out of four from Ladakh. However, that again looks among the impossibilities as BJP and Congress could only get together in the world hereafter. To stitch such an alliance, it needs a “grand national interest” to emerge from within the political corridors of Delhi.

Though PDP and BJP are holding “serious” back channel negotiations and have even exchanged papers on crucial issues, it is the most critical phase in the existence of 15-year-old PDP to take a final call on the issue. For BJP it may still be easier to keep the contentious issue off the table. They had already mellowed down the rhetoric on issues such as Article 370, but for PDP it is to do something against a political ideology. BJP is more concerned about being part of a power structure since it has remarkably improved its tally from 11 seats in 2008 to 25 in 2014. Only by coming to power it can consolidate its base and further it in future. So the political ideology could wait.

For PDP it is both – to come into power to survive on the ground and also to ensure that its political ideology is not diluted to the extent that it is seen as a sell-out agent for the sake of power. As of now the PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, has widened the spectrum of consultations with his MLAs and party leaders but is weighing the options considering the fallout of such an alliance. He may become Chief Minister for six years, but more troubling question that is tickling his mind is the future of his party.

One argument that is being articulated behind the tie up with BJP is that it would ensure development and free flow of funds. That, however, may not be tenable as there are many non-BJP ruled states in India and they don’t necessarily suffer on account of free flow of funds. Similarly during Congress rule there have been BJP governments in various states. Larger issue that PDP will have to manoeuvre around is the political situation in the state. That is why Mufti has pushed forward the “Agenda for Alliance” centering around the engagement with Pakistan,
separatists, cross LoC Confidence Building Measures, making a secure environment and bringing respite in the lives of the people.

This may be difficult for BJP to digest such a line of thinking, since Prime Minister Narendra Modi unilaterally called off Foreign Secretary-level talks in July and has adopted a hard posturing vis a vis Pakistan. But to Mufti’s understanding, the route for reconciliation with Pakistan passes through Kashmir and he would like to bargain hard on political issues rather than the development to come true to the sense of people in seeing him and his party as “saviours” in the mainstream camp.
If at all this alliance comes into existence, it may throw up an opportunity for Modi to tread on Vajpayee’s line of thinking which he has often invoked during last few months. But for Mufti, a shrewd politician, it may be difficult to join hands with a party that drew a blank in recent elections in Kashmir. To do business with BJP is nothing less than going to gallows with a hope to survive.

By arrangement with Rising Kashmir

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan?s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Moving Towards a Higher Collective Outcome
The Importance of Electing the Best to our Nation's Parliament
Sri Lanka: Toward a Diaspora Re-Engagement Plan
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Pakistan's Hurt Locker: What Next?
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
 
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
IPCS Forecast: Bangladesh in 2015
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism?s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
India-Japan-US Trilateral: India?s Policy for the Indo-Pacific
China-South Korea Ties: Implications for the US Pivot to Asia
Many ?Pivots to Asia?: What Does It Mean For Regional Stability?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
Nepal?s New Constitution: Instrument towards Peace or Catalyst to Conflict?
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?

Indo-Pacific
Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ?Look East? to ?Act East?
Indus-tan
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
Myanmar in New Delhi's Naga Riddle
China: ?Peaceful? Display of Military Might
Naga Peace Accord: Need to Reserve Euphoria
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
Indian Ocean: Modi on a Maritime Pilgrimage
Indian Ocean: Exploring Maritime Domain Awareness
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Countering Left Wing Extremism: Failures within Successes
Return of the Native: CPI-Maoist in Kerala
The Rising Civilian Costs of the State-Vs-Extremists Conflict

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
India and the APEC
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Resuming the Indo-Pak Dialogue: Evolving a New Focus
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
Prime Minister Modi Finally Begins His Interaction with West Asia*
A Potential Indian Role in West Asia?
US-GCC Summit: More Hype than Substance
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Jihadi Aggression and Nuclear Deterrence
The Blight of Ambiguity
Falun Gong: The Fear Within


OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 
Related Articles
D Suba Chandran,
"A Fractured Mandate: The Big Picture," 24 December 2014
Shujaat Bukhari,
"J&K: The Fractured Mandate," 23 December 2014

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
J&K: Modi Couldn’t do a Vajpayee in SK Stadium

Balraj Puri: Loss of a Liberal voice

J&K: Back to square one

Jammu & Kashmir: How votes devour rights

Late but welcome realization

Jammu & Kashmir: The New Battle

Jammu & Kashmir: The New Battle

NC, NDA and Autonomy

What concerns young Kashmir?

LoC Trade Under Fire

J&K: A Haven for Agents?

J&K: Let the People Decide

ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2017
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October
 2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009
 2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001
 2000  1999  1998  1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map
18, Link Road, Jungpura Extension, New Delhi 110014, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1902    Email: officemail@ipcs.org

© Copyright 2017, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.