Grand Alliance in J & K Would be UnholyDespite having won the highest percentage of votes in J & K, the BJP and its President Amit Shah will not have rejoiced much. This is due to the fact that their Mission 44 failed by a long margin. Especially galling would be the fact that despite winning the Ladhakh parliamentary seat in May 2014, they failed to win a single assembly seat in the region. Also, they were cocksure of winning all in Jammu region. But the Congress managed to win some. That they would draw a blank in the valley had become clear when the region witnessed the highest ever turnout (which was seen as an attempt by the people to keep the BJP out). But they got only 2% votes there, which must have come as a shock. Such a large swing in its favour, as happened in J & K, would have got the BJP an absolute majority in many states. But as the composition of the electorate in the Valley is tricky, the BJP landed with just 25 seats. Of course, Shah can now go back and say that it was because 44 was set as a target that they got the number of seats they did, it remains a fact that despite an all out effort, the people of the Valley and Ladhakh regions could not be won over.
By Sunil Garodia
Now, as parties grapple with government formation in a hung house, the question that arises is this: will politicians from the Valley rule over Jammu, a region that has categorically rejected them? Or will politicians from Jammu rule over the Valley, similarly a region that has rejected them? One thinks that the best scenario would be for the BJP and the PDP to come together to rule by rotation, say two terms of one and half year for each party. That would ensure that the aspirations of the people of both regions get a look in.
Although this is quite possible, the only stumbling block would be the diametrically opposite views both parties have on Article 370. But that can be kept in abeyance in the interests of the state. There have been talks of forming a grand alliance that includes the PDP, the NC and the Congress. Any alliance of this kind would be an opportunistic one, cobbled together just to keep the BJP out. But would that be in the best interests of the state? After all, 23 percent of the people voted for the BJP, the highest number any party got in the state. That they were mostly from the Jammu region is makes it all the more necessary that the party is part of any government at Srinagar. For the state is Jammu and Kashmir and not only Kashmir. This should be kept in mind by all parties before they embark on any deal that could turn out to be harmful for the state in the long run.
The parties should also remember that the alternative to their dilly-dallying would be governorÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢"Â¢s rule, which should be the last resort in any democracy. Further, governorÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢"Â¢s rule would be BJPÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢"Â¢s rule by proxy, a thing these parties want to avoid by keeping the party out of government formation. Hence, any government in the state should include both the BJP and the PDP, the two parties that have won the largest number of votes and seats.