A A Latief U Zaman Deva
The deliberations in yesterday’s concluded meeting of the National Executive of the BJP confirm the grapevine abuzz in J&K about Panchayat & Urban local Body elections to precede the holding of much awaited & abnormally delayed elections to the UT Legislative Assembly. The perceptions , approach and Stratagem of the ruling party to the elections to State/UT Legislative Assemblies scheduled for 2023 didn’t include J&K & today in the afternoon the Election Commission of India announced the schedule for elections to the Assemblies of Meghalaya, Nagaland & Tripura to the exclusion of J&K.
The BJP has sofar succeeded in preventing major dents to happen to its groundswell support in Dogra region comprising of Udhampur, Jammu, Samba & Kathwa Distts & by cultivating “ give & take” shenanigans, on the vortex of granting Schedule Tribe status to ethnic Pahari communities, ensured the Peer Panchal region, having 05 segments in Rajouri & 03 in Punch Distts, to be not invincible for Hindutva far right ideologists which earlier was unfathomable given the stiff opposition the integrationists encountered in the region in the past. The regional Parties (Gupkar Alliance) in the main Valley & together with ADP in Chenab Valley are capable of sweeping the polls except in 02 to 04 segments the underlying wave may be blunted by candidates of parties supposed to be the prospective allies of BJP which shall get reversed by the limited favourable outcome in favour of sub- nationalists in the rest of the UT. Conscious of the public sentiments & their aspirations the crafty strategists in BJP are vying for disunity in the parties, ideologically opposed to them, and one of the tools invoked for this to happen is to hold the Panchayat & Urban Local Body elections much before Assembly elections. All parties contesting these elections severally on their own is likely to heighten the personal chasm amongst them aided & abetted by agent provocateurs & fifth columnists making it impossible for détente in near future.
People generally in entire India vote on the basis of highly emotive political cum cultural and associated historical social planks but in JK outside Dogra belt the discourse is designed for socio-economic advancements to which microscopic sections of the society have fallen prey to due to massive outlays for local self bodies transforming the infrastructural landscape with significant impact. The real Public participation in recent times in formulation of civic amenities related plans & devising the strategies for developmental sectors is quite visible at grassroots prompting visionary youngsters & hitherto non-political personal to join the bandwagon of political activists thereby eroding the hegemony of opportunists, turncoats & brazenly corrupt who admittedly are devoid of ideologies, commitments, principles & valves . It is either to recognize the ground realities & purge the organizations of undesirable characters for accommodating the ideologically committed & visionary blend of elderly class and new breed or perish . This combination, unless mellowed by owning them, would coupled with the post pool scenarios in multi-party contests fracture the collective bargain of “ Quom” with far reaching repercussions to the Cherishment of BJP on the outcome of Assembly elections whenever held.Unity, as a smart counter to the nefarious designs of ultra nationalists, amongst the like minded political parties & rising of leadership above partisanship is surest recipe for electorally disproving the Votaries of 08/2019 unilateral unconstitutional, illegal & immoral changes foisted on weird grounds.
The author is IAS( Rtd) & former Chairman of J&K PSC who can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org