Jammu: It may not be a very smooth sailing ahead for the ideologically opposite Peoples Democratic Party (PDP and Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP)coalition headed by Mehaboob Mufti.
This was the observation made by former Minister and senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla while addressing party workers at Gandhi Nagar constituency on Wednesday.
Bhalla was of the view that PDP and BJP are not politically compatible partners and have greater experience of opposing each other’s political stands rather than accommodating each other’s point of view. That is the reason that the Agenda of Alliance that was put forth by the two parties did not succeed in removing the political gulf all through the period of senior Mufti’s leadership, the Government was struck up with a number of political controversies.
Will Mehbooba Mufti be able to narrow the divide within the Government and will she be able to channel the energies towards the larger task of governance – is the most crucial question that everyone is asking. Though the Agenda of Alliance was seen as the basis of minimizing the difference between the two parties and bringing the two regions closer, however, notwithstanding the Agenda, during the last stint of the PDP-BJP coalition, the regional gap has further widened further, Bhalla maintained. He said that the two parties have failed to provide a cohesive model of governance. Off and on situations would arise which had the potential of snowballing into regionally polarised politics. Not only there is the issue of institutionalised corruption but also the issues of economic dependence and lack of economic resources. There is a bulging population of educated unemployed youth who need innovative response to the problem of ever shrinking employment opportunities in the Government sector on the one hand and the demeaning and humiliating conditions of work and pay scales for the very few jobs still left in this sector, on the other. How imaginative the present Government can be in providing job opportunities to the youth will be a long-term challenge. The Governor’s rule has been much appreciated for the governance that it provided and the efficiency that it showed in taking swift decisions on important pending issues. With a standard being set during the past three months, the comparisons will be drawn and her Government will be under the constant pressure to perform and deliver results, if not better, at least of the level that was in place during the last three months, former Minister said.
The 2014 parliamentary elections outcome was polarizing with two clear opposite visions of J&K and its relationship with the Indian state – one was articulated by the PDP and the other by the BJP. The NC and Congress, fortunately, brought in the much needed moderation and clearly opted to play in the middle ground.
The coalition was hampered by lack of confidence among partners even while Sayeed was alive and this stemmed from the BJP’s inability to keep in mind that it was not just a partner in the state but was also governing the centre, Bhalla said.