Against Democratic Procedure
It is now clear that we do not have any concrete policy for trouble-torn Kashmir. When the local body elections were held barely a month and a half ago amidst boycott calls by major political parties of the State, it was believed that the Centre is all for giving power to the people to shape their future. But now, by dissolving the State Assembly, the Centre has crushed that dream. Once again Kashmir is back to the situation where instead of the people and their elected representatives, the Centre-appointed Governor with the help of few handpicked bureaucrats will decide the fate of the State.
It is not that handing over the reins of the State to the elected representatives will solve the problems of Kashmir over night, especially with the fragile political scenario. But in a democracy, there is no other option. Such decisions should be taken only after due deliberation and weighing of options. Surely the decision of imposition of President’s rule in Kashmir will not make Indian democracy stronger.
What provoked the Centre to impose President’s rule in Kashmir? It should be remembered that nearly five months ago, after the fall of PDP-BJP government in the State, the State Assembly was not dissolved. It was kept under animated suspension. It provided a chance to another alternative to stake claim to form the government. It has been widely reported that such efforts were being made, Kashmiri leader Sajid Lone was in talks with BJP to form coalition government in the State. The coalition between Mr. Lone and BJP was almost stitched and efforts were on to get some more MLAs from other parties to join the new coalition so that it could pass the majority test on the floor of the State Assembly.
The moment news of such a new political alignment became known, two major political parties of the State namely the National Conference (NC) and PDP came together to thwart the move. The alliance was further strengthened when Congress also joined it. The three parties together have enough numbers to form the next government in the State. As per the Constitution and the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission, the three-party alliance should have been given a chance to form the government. But in his own wisdom, the Governor dissolved the house on the pretext that horse-trading was going on in the State and in such a situation no alliance would be able to provide a stable government in the State.
There are many loopholes the Governor’s theory. Given the strength of respective parties in the State Assembly, NC, PDP and the Congress had enough MLAs to prove its majority. On the other hand the formation of Lone-BJP government was completely dependent on the support of MLAs from other parties as the combination was well short of the requisite number. So the move can be safely dubbed as an effort to keep the regional parties out of power as long as possible. The move only shows political authoritativeness is still prevailing in world’s largest democracy. This menace should be curbed at once. Otherwise the future of the nation is bleak to say the least.