BJP distanced in J&K – struggling for recurrence
Mahadeep Singh Jamwal
The recent political events and the manner in which BJP has conducted the business as the alliance partner in J and K government has distanced the common man from this party and they never choose to identify themselves with BJP although outwardly they follow it just for no cause. The blooming picture of this fraternity so projected is because of some biased TV networks/print media. It’s not so much a matter of concern whether BJP is good or bad for the Jammu region, but a matter of serious concern is whether its leaders are. In the past it was a party reduced to single MLA Jugal Kishore from Nagrota Constituency in 2002 elections from BJP’s best performance in 1996, when it had won eight seats. This was a clear indicative of the performance of eight MLAs, which reduced this party to a single digit of one only. It was regarded and known as a party of two and a half districts of the Hindu dominated areas in Jammu region. The single MLA too was after having alliance and seat-sharing with the Jammu State Morcha, an RSS outfit. But this alliance coupled with Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu’s, then BJP president, (now Union Minister for Housing and Urban development) efforts to consolidate Hindu votes miserably failed to achieve much hyped expected results. We still remember some alluring statements of BJP leaders at that time such as; it would work hard to get back the Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, in their appeal to the people of Jammu region, the senior leaders said, if BJP candidates are elected it would be easier to achieve certain goals: ending the dynastic rule in the State, more development in the region, a formidable Hindu voice in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and ending militancy in the State. The discrimination with Jammu and Ladakh argued by Rajnath Singh, then National General Secretary of the BJP (now Union Home Minister of India) by stating that National Conference’s discriminatory attitude can be explained by the fact that only 15 thousand jobs were provided to Jammu and Ladakh region whereas one lakh 10 thousand jobs have been created in the past six years. Party leaders also hinted that they would consider the suggestion of constituting regional development councils for the speedy development of these two regions. Needless to mention that present Union Finance Arun Jaitley was the party spokesman. But all the alluring promises and statements of BJP stalwarts were blasted by Jammuites as they were having conceptuated the real face of the party long back clamouring for just power here and there on allurements only.
The 2008 Assembly elections brought the BJP in double digit i.e. eleven MLAs. lf we revisit the BJP manifesto for J and K elections 2008, we find repetition of the same lucrative committments such as; alleged discrimination against Hindu-majority Jammu region at the hands of Jammu and Kashmir’s dominantly Muslim rulers (exploitation of Hindu minds) , it will sternly deal with terrorists of all hues, talks of reducing unemployment and improving the living conditions of Kashmiri Pandit migrants, to do away with regional imbalances in the State etc. The all time BJP’s dancing tune of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution find no mention that grants special status to the state. The omission of Article 370 was justified by saying: “It’s immaterial whether there is a mention of Article 370’s abolition or not. It is an agenda in our hearts”. This statement exposed BJP that what is obvious is not always the ultimate truth and they always carry hidden agenda. In this way all time and everywhere shouting slogan was shifted to the silent prayers from the heart about this Article 370. If we look through real perspective, we will conclude that all these vociferous election agenda points were not the influencing factors to mandate eleven candidates of this party. The only reason was the exploitation of Hindu sentiments owing to a controversy arisen out of a piece of land which devolved to Amarnath Land Row controversy and it was fully en-cashed during elections by exploiting the religious frenzy and by placing Jammuites versus Kashmirites on ‘Amarnath Land Row’ a dangerous tool let loose by this fraternity and outcome of this controversy was ‘zero’ for Hindu community, eleven Assembly seats to BJP and nomination of Convener of this agitation to contest Parliamentary elections on BJP seat. What is obvious is not always the ultimate truth became reality when eight MLAs of this party voted against the party wish in Legislative Council elections by consideration of money and to save its face the BJP high command expelled these MLAs from primary membership of party as an eye wash as except some rest all were taken on board by the party.
The elections of 2014 turned out to be a bonanza for this party in Jammu region. It was not the performance of this party in Jammu but exclusively the changed scenario of the country politics as people have blind foldly accepted the leadership of Modi Jee by falling trap to the lucrative bombarding on the issues in Jammu brewing the feelings of Jammuites for the last 65 years. A very pleasing ‘vision document’ was made public based on every expectations of Jammuities. Feeling oldies as beaten track new faces very un-common to the public were brought on field by BJP by accommodating many faces denied mandate by their party to which these faces have remained faithful and ever calling names to BJP. The voters accepted them as their representatives ignoring the facts of their quality just on the promises of the PM Modi Jee, by sending a bulk of MLAs to the Assembly. But when alliance was carved out with its all time opponent party PDP by surrendering all aspirations of Jammuites, the folly was realised by voters that they have preferred quantity rather than quality of MLAs. The wagon full of twenty five MLAs of this party has failed to achieve even a single goody for the Jammuites. Their whole hearted surrender before the Kashmir centric politics dually endorsed by the central leadership has compelled the Jammuites to derail this wagon of BJP creating hardships for Jammuites and is in wait for the right opportune. The worst fact is that when a person deserving condemnation is crowned, you cannot expect best results from such person and same is the problem with our BJP ministers in coalition. The condemned wagon of twenty five MLAs has to rely on Kashmir centric politics for its next sigh although many of them are on cushioned musical chairs along with PDP. A big question becomes answerable by the trio of three Union Ministers i.e. Home Minister, Finance Minister and Minister for Housing and Urban Development, who were making much hue and cry in 2002 elections regarding Jammuites concern especially discrimination in the field of employment and development and to get this State abolished from dynastic rule, the big statements of their party bosses in Jammu, that all the successive governments in Jammu and Kashmir have been soft on terrorism and how Jammuites have been cheated by the Congress, PDP and National Conference. We cannot expect any plausible reply from party ministers in coalition and other MLAs as they are just puppet in the present set up of PDP coalition.
Concluding I will not hesitate to speak that present phase of politics in Jammu, when we are represented by almost equal number of MLAs and ministers in Coalition Government, is the worst ever period the Jammuites have witnessed and moreover when same party is in rule in the center and representation of two MPs from the same party and one very high voltage voice in the Union Government.