PDP Resurfaces As An Irresponsible Opposition8 January 2011
Srinagar: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),the main opposition in Jammu and Kashmir has been reasserting on the political horizon of the state and it has chosen the first week of the first month of new year for it. PDP patron and former Chief Minister Mufti Sayed broke his long period of silence on Jan2 by saying that the government of India cannot afford to put the Kashmir issue on backburner. It was followed by a protest demonstration led by PDP president Mehbooba Mufti in Srinagar against “miss governance” of Omar Abdullah led coalition government. PDP workers in winter capital, Jammu also staged a protest on the same day on similar lines. Political observers in Kashmir were surprised on this strange gesture of opposition PDP that according to the observers has miserably failed in playing role of a responsive and responsible opposition. No doubt admission of “ the governance deficit” in Jammu and Kashmir at the highest political level in the country has left little scope for talking on such issue that has been referred to by the Prime Minister in person and the team of interlocutors appointed for Jammu and Kashmir by the centre. However, what surprises the intellectual circles in the state is the “inconsistency” of the opposition PDP on various issues and its failure to balance its acts in extraordinary situations. Different people offer equally different explanations to PDP’s inconsistency. “ In my opinion PDP, as witnessed since 2008, gets swayed by the situations obviously for one reason. The party which is still in its infancy has no solid workers cadre and as such no traditional and committed vote bank. It has been harping on National Conference declining support base. It has been witnessed that younger generation gets mobilized in elections in favour of PDP for not having a credible non-National Conference, non-Congress political platform available in the state particularly in Kashmir region” opines Shawkat Ahmad Bhat, a political Science Scholar in Kashmir University. Bhat says, that the younger generation that when participate in political mobilization, earth beneath PDP snatches and they get swayed. It is natural for PDP to hunt with the hound and run with the hare because they have no solid support base, adds Shawkat. Professor Noor Ahmad Baba, Dean department of Social Sciences in Kashmir University says “ It is power politics and you know the power politics is faceless”. Baba, however, maintains that governance deficit is inbuilt in the political problem of the state. “ Once there is unrest or political mobilization, government fails to function, so if you want to improve the governance in the state you have to resolve the political problem” Baba said. The senior most political scientist of Kashmir further was quick to add that every society has to overcome the problems confronted by the people in day to day life for its survival. Baba believes that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing two-way problems; political and the ones related to the governance. He says that the most discouraging thing of separatist politics was that the separatists especially Sayed Ali Geelani ignored the one at the cost of other. On PDP’s demonstration against “miss governance” Baba says “the party stands isolated politically as people in Kashmir have not recognized it as the champions of Kashmir cause which unfortunately the party pretends to be. As Omar Abdullah played its political cards smartly, (notwithstanding the fact that his government has failed in providing an efficient and transparent administration to the people), PDP fall short of the political agenda so it went into oblivion for months together and resurfaced only the other day. PDP Tuesday held protest demonstrations in Srinagar and Jammu against the electricity crisis, shortage of water, non availability of cooking gas, kerosene oil and other basic facilities in the state. The demonstrators demanded return of the power generation projects from the NHPC that had been gifted by the National Conference from time to time to the central government in order to secure its rule in the State. Senior PDP leader and former Minister Sardar Rangil Singh, however, ridiculed the assertions that PDP has failed to play a responsible opposition’s role saying that Omar Abdullah, no doubt, overtly or covertly tried to hijack our agenda. Rangil Singh, however, said that the ground situation is very distressing as the NC-Congress coalition government has failed on all fronts. Ask people in streets, every one cries haplessly as basic amenities are not available to them, corruption rules the roost and law and order situation is deteriorating with each passing day” Sardar Rangil Singh said adding that PDP is playing a positive role as a responsible opposition.