As if the coming together of arch rivals like the National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wasn’t surprising enough, the BJP added more heat to the politically charged atmosphere in Jammu and Kashmir by dragging Pakistan into it.
Soon after the announcement of a grand alliance on November 21, local leaders of the BJP in the state made bizarre comments, saying the NC and PDP were apparently taking directions from across the border.
Some even said that it was a result of the ‘meetings’ held in Dubai. Nobody knows what meetings were being referred to. If this wasn’t damaging enough, senior leaders such as Ram Madhav seemed to be towing the same line today.
PDP&NC boycotted local body polls last month because they had instructions from across the border.Probably they had fresh instructions from across the border to come together & form govt.What they did prompted Guv to look into the whole issue: Ram Madhav on J&K assembly dissolved pic.twitter.com/f0wPQbzqrD— ANI (@ANI) November 22, 2018
I dare you @rammadhavbjp ji to prove your allegation. You have RAW, NIA & IB at your command (CBI too is your parrot) so have the guts to place evidence in the public domain. Either prove this or be man enough to apologise. Don’t practice shoot & scoot politics. https://t.co/KEbOo0z6O2— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) November 22, 2018
All the hectic political manoeuvring that unfolded on Wednesday night in the state ended with Governor Satya Pal Malik ordering the dissolution of the J&K Assembly. To a lot of people, it seemed that the Governor and the Centre had no other option.
The assumption holds ground simply because the same Governor just a few days back was heard hinting that there was no urgency to dissolve the Assembly. The sequence of events on Wednesday suggested that the BJP found the coming together of these three parties difficult to deal with — particularly, when its own ally Sajad Lone was unable to cobble together a group with enough numbers to form the government.
The PDP, NC and Congress appeared to have checkmated the BJP.
But, with Malik dissolving the Assembly, these parties have ensured that there is no possibility of horse trading and splitting anymore.
This has dashed the hopes of a BJP-propped third front. Many believe that since the BJP was taken by surprise, it didn’t really know how to react. Invoking Pakistan seemed like an easy option. But it has actually proved counterproductive. Not only has it shown the BJP and its leaders in a bad light, but it has also raised some pertinent questions.
Both the National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party have been BJP's alliance partners in the past. (Source: India Today)
The biggest question that could be asked today is — how come the same PDP, which was part of the government with the BJP till June this year, has suddenly become ‘pro-Pakistan’?
The National Conference has also been part of the BJP alliance.
So, the takeaway from these developments is that if you are not with the BJP, you are apparently anti-national and pro-Pakistan.
The other aspect of this assertion by the BJP is graver.
In the state of J&K, mainstream political parties like the NC and PDP are often criticised for peddling India’s agenda. In other terms, they are called 'pro-India parties' in the dynamics of the Kashmir conflict.
These parties have been at the receiving end for quite some time. Many of their leaders and workers have been attacked and killed. Today, when the BJP says that these parties are working at the behest of Pakistan, isn’t it also undermining the decades of consistent effort made to establish the mainstream in a vulnerable state like J&K?
National parties such as the Congress and BJP are seen as outsiders — for a long time, the NC and PDP have been part of the definition of 'mainstream' in Kashmir.
So, is the BJP today pointing out that this mainstream is 'pro-Pakistan'?
Also read: Why Rahul Gandhi and Mehbooba Mufti should thank Governor Satya Pal Malik for dissolving J&K Assembly