Facing the most difficult challenge of outsmarting her rivals for the first time in her political career , the PDP President and the incumbent Chief Minister Mehobba Mufti is trying hard to restore the confidence of youth in her party by offering several concessions for detained youth. Mehbooba Mufti in election time may offer the review of the cases of youth detained on charges of involvement in stone pelting students but youth can’t forget Mehbooba’s outright rejection of the demand for a judicial probe into civilian killings reported during more than six month long unrest in Kashmir last year. Chief Minister also holding the presidency of her party has all reasons to promise review of the cases of such detained youth who have been arrested on charges of involvement in stone pelting incidents ahead of polling in Srinagar and Anantnag Lok Sabha constituencies. Since National Conference President and three time former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, himself a candidate of the opposition NC-Congress alliance from Srinagar parliamentary constituency, is trying hard to generate a sympathy wave for himself by giving the people a notion that he was fighting the last election of his political career and stands for the resolution of Kashmir issue through dialogue with joint separatist leadership and the Government of Pakistan, the incumbent Chief Minister and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti is trying hard to neutralize Farooq Abdullah’s abortive attempts to generate an anti-incumbency wave against the PDP candidates in both Srinagar and Anantnag parliamentary constituencies .
Though even naives can understand the compulsions of Mehbooba Mufti in divorcing the agenda of soft separatism during the campaigning for ongoing bye elections to Srinagar and Anantnag parliamentary constituencies but outsmarting her rivals in presence of increasing factionalism within her own party has become a much bigger challenge for Mehbooba Mufti now more driven by the compulsions of coalition politics than the conveniences of vote bank politics.
The bigger challenge for Mehbooba Mufti is to settle scores over opposition NC-Congress alliance amid increasing chaos and law and order disturbances triggered by massive protests near the encounter sites and unprecedented increase in the encounters across Kashmir. While running a coalition government with BJP it is difficult for Mehooba Mufti to use the language of separatists the way her rivals including the likes of Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Tariq Hameed Kara are using. Unlike Farooq Abdullah the PDP President Mehbooba Muftii is seeking votes for her party candidates on developmental planks and restoration of peace in absence of any possibility of central government’s engagement with the separatist leadership and resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue process with focuss on resolution of Kashmir issue. While Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah are arousing popular passions, the PDP president and the incumbent Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti does not find herself in a position to counter the campaigning of Abdullahs’ on separatist agenda. Though even naives can understand the compulsions of Mehbooba Mufti in divorcing the agenda of soft separatism during the campaigning for ongoing bye elections to Srinagar and Anantnag parliamentary constituencies but outsmarting her rivals in presence of increasing factionalism within her own party has become a much bigger challenge for Mehbooba Mufti now more driven by the compulsions of coalition politics than the conveniences of vote bank politics