Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Kashmir - A Great Betrayal?

Part 54
Dr Abdul Ruff Colachal | Kashmir Watch, Jan 4, 2009

International, national and regional politics have a common strait of irrationality, as politics, they say, makes strange bed-fellows. History cites instances to prove that any unprincipled alliance is bound to face stresses and strains at every stage and cannot be expected to fulfill the electoral mandate and deliver the goods. The story of Jammu Kashmir ruling coalition is also interesting in that respect. National Conference that opposed Congress until the poll and during the polls has clinched a post-poll alliance with Congress. The fractured verdict in the just concluded JK election, under Indian terror security control, with no party securing absolute majority had necessitated the formation of a coalition to rule in the State for next years. It was the National Conference has emerged as the largest single party, though much short of even a simple majority, has, in a way as to outwit PDP, taken initiative to forge alliance with the Congress which ruled the state with PDP before the poll.

Even with lesser seats Congress has the power to dictate terms to Kashmiris. Like the DMK and ADMK in Tamil Nadu, the PDP and NC are vying with each other to woo the Congress party to outsmart its local opponent. Congress seeks such opportunities to ruin the Kashmiriyat. Since the coalition is only a marriage of convenience rather than unity forged on the basis of shared ideology and program the NC had no alternative but to accept the conditions laid down by the Congress.

The new regime would prefer to indulge in blame game with the previous regime even though Congress id a common factor. That fact that national and regional parties don’t concentrate their attention on welfare measures benefiting the people, they just loot the nation. Even communist ruled states are no better in that respect; not even minimum civic amenities are provided and roads are not properly maintained; every where water logs and dirty collections. By making use of price rise prices and services charges are increased, but not brought down even when the oil prices have come down internationally and nationally, .

Indian leaders consider that democracy demands that leaders give preference to their own sons and daughters and JK has also done the same. Without sons and daughters and other close relatives India democracy would perhaps collapse. One can’t just find fault with Omar emerging the only aspirant in JK government. This is the essence of Indian politics from North to South and from East to West.

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Already, it is clear that Congress party with its HQ in New Delhi would decide the JK administration and politics. Congress agreed to join in an alliance with the NC only on the condition that the new government will be headed by Umar Abdullah, thus leaving little choice for the NC legislature party to decide. The NC president said that a Common Minimum Program CMP will be formulated after the government formation. Even as no date was given for oath ceremony but Omar hinted at having it before January 6. He also said that his party would formally write to the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Chairman Rajya Sabha and Speaker Lok Sabha to recognize his party as part of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) ahead of next Lok Sabha session. With this the PDP which was part of UPA will be out of the alliance.

With paucity of clean politicians without corruption scandals and practices, Congress party is in a fix to find untainted elected leaders to be nominated for ministerial berths, as the major alliance partner National Conference (NC) is insisting to work only with uncorrupted and unspoiled faces. Omar said he would take oath along with two other NC representatives initially. He asked Congress party to nominate three representatives to take oath with him to form a six-member Cabinet. The expansion could take place later at a convenient date, he added. Congress insists on a deputy CM and a Hindu being the deputy CM but decision on the deputy chief minister or either on rotation of the chief minister would taken after some time. Let the government come first then we will decide on the CMP. We will sit together at an appropriate level and complete the CMP. When it has been decided to sit together and form government, there is no issue of the CMP."

Both NC and Congress have agreed to constitute a mechanism to review the functioning of coalition government on policy matter as and when found necessary. Having 'succeeded’ in JK poll, India is now keen to go for the Parliamentary election as well along with NC. Omar announced that both parties would contest next Lok Sabha polls together. He also said that his party would formally write to the UPA chairperson Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Chairman Rajya Sabha and Speaker Lok Sabha to recognize his party as part of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) ahead of next Lok Sabha session.

Continued >>

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