oppn parties A New Political Party Is Welcome But Not Enough To Start The Political Process In J&K In Real Earnest

News Snippets

  • University vice-chancellors in West Bengal decide not to hold final-year examinations despite UGC prod, will instead go by the state government advised 80-20 formula where 80% will be marked on performance in past semesters and 20% on internal assessments in the final semester
  • The Centre wants the ITI and other top Indian firms to bid for 5G as Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE are not likely to be allowed to participate
  • India and China agree on total disengagement to return to peace ahead of the next round of military talks
  • The Supreme Court allows delivery of summons and notices via WhatsApp and email, but questions remain on proof of actual receipt
  • National Investigation Agency says the proceeds from the Kerala gold smuggling case could have been used for terrorist activities
  • Four Maoists shot dead in Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar
  • Despite localized lockdown, Covid cases continue to rise at an alarming rate in West Bengal. Newer areas brought under containment zones in Kolkata
  • ICSE, ISC results declared, Average scores in the English paper, 20% lower this year than the average in most years, pulls down the aggregate for most candidates
  • IIP contracts by 35% in May. Manufacturing goes down by 39.3%
  • Row erupts over CBSE's decision to reduce the syllabus by 30% this academic year due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Experts say several lessons that the ruling dispensation does not like are being removed
  • Gangster Vikas Dubey's nephew killed in an encounter by UP police who also pick up his key aide Raju Khullar and his son Adarsh
  • MHA sets up an inter-ministerial committee to probe the alleged financial misdeeds of three trusts linked to the Gandhi family
  • Actor Jagdeep, most famous for his Soorma Bhopali act in Sholay, passes away
  • Pakistan says Kulbhushan Jadhav has declined to file a review petition and will stick to his mercy plea. India calls it a farce
  • India to keep a strict vigil to confirm that the Chinese are abiding by the deal on the pullback at the LAC
Gangster Vikas Dubey's 'encounter' raises several questions and the Yogi government is under fire for allegedly getting him killed in a 'staged' encounter to prevent the exposure of the nexus between criminals and the administration in the state
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A New Political Party Is Welcome But Not Enough To Start The Political Process In J&K In Real Earnest

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2020-02-25 13:05:10

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

Although it is excellent news that several big political leaders in Jammu & Kashmir have decided to leave their parent parties - the PDP, the NC and the Congress - and form a new political outfit, it does not in any way obviate the need for releasing the leaders of the three main parties as early as possible in order to resume the political process in the state in real earnest. For, while the leaders who have decided to form the new party may have grassroots support, they are nowhere as charismatic as either Omar Abdullah or Mehbooba Mufti and might neither command a sizeable following nor represent mainstream political opinion in the state. They are also not expected to mould public opinion in a big way post the upheavals after the abrogation of Article 370.

The leaders of the proposed outfit have made the right noises until now. They have demanded full statehood for J&K and early panchayat elections. While the Centre might not yet concede the first demand as it wants to streamline the administration in the state under direct supervision, it should think seriously about the second. Any development in the state will only happen when the lowest tier of the elected representatives is in place. For, they are the ones who know what is needed in their respective areas, draft the schemes, get them approved, requisition funds and ensure that projects are completed. Hence, elected panchayats should be put in place at the earliest.

But any election held without PDP, NC and the Congress will not truly represent the will of the people. The three main parties have not shown any inclination to field candidates in panchayat elections under the present restrictions and with their frontline leaders in jail. They cannot be faulted for this as they are not able to hold political meetings and mobilize the people. Without that, the political process has no meaning. Hence, before holding the elections, the government needs to relax the restrictions in a phased but accelerated, manner to ensure proper participation of all parties. It also needs to release Abdullah and Mufti and other leaders. Maybe it can start with the second rung leaders and watch the developments and then release the top two.  But holding the elections in a relative political vacuum will be meaningless and can even backfire in the long run.