In Kashmir, AAP Success Fuels Political Debat

In Kashmir, AAP Success Fuels Political Debat

17 December 2013
The Economic Times
Masood Hussain

Srinagar: Numbers preventing formation of Delhi government notwithstanding, the AAP is the new political reference in states and J&K is no exception. In Kashmir, parties are accusing each other of trying to package themselves as 'J&K's AAP'. Sections within Kashmir think the Valley witnessed the 'AAP-moment' in 1987 when people came out in hoards to vote for Muslim United Front, a lose alliance of anti-establishment right-wingers who wanted to change the system. As the then ruling NC-Congress coalition denied them space and made them fail in a rigged process, the militancy was born. That was in 1987. Post-militancy, however, Mufti Sayeed, the former Congressman who founded PDP and became a formidable challenge to NC in the state, says his party's rise to power in 2002 was another 'AAP-moment'. 'There is no room for cynicism as sincere leadership, strong political will and clear vision can rectify the (governing) system,' Mufti told a public meeting in border Vijaypur on Sunday. 'AAP can institutionalize transparency in the system.' Mufti says he has his personal experiences about delivering 'good, effective and pro-people governance'. In 2002, he told people, when he had only 16 berths in an 89 member state legislative assembly, he could script a new chapter of peace, reconciliation and development. 'Like AAP, we had introduced a new moral factor in J&K's politics. We took about a month to form government with Congress and others but not before formulation a comprehensive Common Minimum Programme (CMP),' Mufti said. 'We had not shown any unholy hesitation to form the government which even necessitated brief spell of Governor rule in the state.' But his utterances led to criticism of PDP. 'Drawing parallel's between AAP and PDP by Mufti is a joke,' reacted Sheikh Abdul Rashid, who resigned as an engineer to contest and become a lawmaker. 'Kashmir based parties are private enterprises and continue to be so.' The major difference, according to Rashid: 'While Congress and BJP are begging before Kajriwal to accept their unconditional support, NC and PDP have been shamefully doing everything to seek blessings of Congress and have worked like a 'B' team of Congress since long.' Rashid, a restive and vocal politician who found Awami Itehad Party (AIP) thinks PDP can have a comparison with AAP only if Mufti purges his party from 'corrupt people including ex-bureaucrats and trade union leaders involved in scams, and its ex-ministers occupying illegal accommodations and enjoying undue privileges with out caring for the law and the morality.' When the results of Delhi elections came out, sections within the separatist camp were excited. 'People of India appear to have shunned the traditional mindset created by established political parties about issues facing India,' Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, who heads the moderate Hurriyat said. 'It speaks about new change which, we hope, will also reflect the new mindset on Kashmir issue'. He hoped Kejirwal will try to reach out to the people of Kashmir as well. But, he was silenced soon. 'AAP under Gandhian cloak, wears the same RSS shorts,' said Yasin Malik of JKLF. 'We have seen their intentions in the past when in May, 200 families went to Delhi to protest against the human rights violations inflicted on them by the authorities but it was Kejerwal's party that disallowed them even to speak to press.' Author activist Dr Altaf Hussian said nobody in Kashmir will ever be allowed to become Kejerwal because rulers here are 'selected and not elected.'