November 28, 2020

Modi’s promise draws a flak with rise of new dynasties in DDC elections

‘Is BJP’s claim of fighting against dynastic politics, a hoax?’

Srinagar: As BJP led NDA Government took charge of the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narenra Modi at the centre with it’s victory in 2014 general elections against the Indian National Congress which ruled India for most of the time since Independence, the fight against politics in Jammu & Kashmir then a full fledged state was the promise Prime Made to the people of Jammu & Kashmir and rest of the country .
In his election campaign, Narendra Modi in one of his rallies in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district launched a scathing attack on National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party and laid allegations of looting Jammu and Kashmir against then with an appeal to J&K voters to “punish” them by casting their vote in favour of Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP).
“Will only these two families rule the people of Jammu and Kashmir?” Modi asked people. People in the Jammu division of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir voted in favor of BJP while the Kashmir division rejected BJP.
Once the election was over BJP formed a government with PDP against whom BJP leaders remained vocal during the election campaign and asked people to vote against them to end ‘dynasty politics’ in Jammu and Kashmir.
In 87 member assembly BJP secured 25 seats from the Jammu division of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir while PDP got 28 seats. After consultation “Agenda of Alliance” was framed to form the government and PDP’s Mufti Mohammad Sayeed sworn in as Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir with the support of BJP. After the death of Sayeed, Mehbooba took over as CM of J&K.
On June 19, 2018, BJP pulled out of its coalition government with the PDP. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti tendered resignation and the erstwhile state headed towards Governor’s rule.
Last year on August 5, Narendra Modi led Central govt unilaterally amid opposition from several National political parties and Members of Parliament from Jammu and Kashmir scrapped the special status of J&K and bifurcated it into two Union Territories of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh that was followed by several months of govt. imposed shutdown and communication blockade.
In wake of the decision, many politicians and Activists including former chief ministers of the state were detained “to avert any kind of protest” against the decision.
BJP justifies the abrogation of special status saying that it hindered development and opportunities for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. They also said that it will put an end to the rule of what they call “dynastic politics.”
Meanwhile, Altaf Bukhari of PDP launched a new political party “Jammu Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) ” within few months of the scrapping of the special status of J&K with the support of many politicians from PDP and Jammu Kashmir National Conference(JKNC) and some other parties. If reports are believed none among the politicians who joined JKAP was detained in wake of August 5, when the special status of J&K was scrapped. It is being assumed that JKAP is the creation of BJP to counter two big parties NC and PDP in J&K.
With the scrapping of the special status political scenario of J&K changed with the change in situation but there is no end to “family rule” and development of the region, as expected.
As District Development Council (DDC) elections are round the in J&K for the first time in it’s , history, many political parties including BJP has been fielding candidates across Jammu & Kashmir.
“The DDC election has shown us the true face of BJP and its false claims of ending ‘family rule,” rather it is promoting family rule”, said an activist. He claimed that till now if it were two families ruling J&K, now BJP has been promoting those families who fall in line with the politics saffron party propagates and this gives no respite to aspiring politicians who have no political background”.
This reporter tried to dig out the roots of the allegations leveled against BJP for promoting some particular families in this “new political scenario” of J&K. It was revealed to this reporter of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district that the District President of BJP and her daughter are contesting elections from two different territorial constituencies. District President of the BJP who currently lives in Drugmulla territorial constituency that is reserved for women managed BJP mandate for his daughter and himself got the ticket of BJP for his ancestral constituency Reddi-Chowkibal.
Some candidates who were earlier associated with Indian National Congress (INC) and then joined JKAP known for it’s increasing inclination towards BJP in Jammu and Kashmir. Shoib Lone who was earlier associated with INC broke his ties with the party after the dilution of Article 370 and joined the newly formed JKAP, is contesting from sangrama territorial constituency and her mother from wagoora constituency in Baramulla District. Shoib has contested for Assembly several times. He is going to contest the DDC election from Sangrama territorial constituency while his mother as per reports is contesting as a JKAP candidate from another constituency.
Indian National Congress’s J&K chapter Chief Gh Ahmad Mir’s son Naseer Mir is contesting from Dooru Shahbad territorial constituency. JKAP’s Chaudhary Zulfikar’s wife is also in the fray for the DDC election. She has been pitted against independent candidate Javed Iqbal Chaudhary. One of Javed’s brothers is District Magistrate serving in Jammu and Kashmir. Zulfikar was earlier associated with PDP and broke his association with the party last year. He was a minister in the BJP-PDP coalition. Senior Vice President of J&K Apni Party Gh Hassan Mir also a former two time minister has fielded the son of his own brother from a territorial constituency of Tangmarg assembly segment. Interestingly Mir had resigned from the Peoples’ Democratic Party after conveying his disapproval to the non stop rise in dynasty politics within the PDP.
There is a rather generational shift in the politics of Jammu and Kashmir wherein politicians are fielding their kins in the politics and are going to have their debut in the DDC election.A leader of JKAP had fielded his nephew in the DDC election and has purportedly reserved another seat for himself. Senior politician Mohd Khalil Bandh who cut his ties with PDP and Joined JKNC has fielded his son Mukhtar Bandh in the DDC election. The story of patronizing few families in politics doesn’t end here
In the Jammu division’s Nowshera area BJP workers are anguished over the mandate given by BJP to the wife of cousin brother of JK BJP Chief, Ravinder Raina. In Poonch, District President of BJP Mohd Rafiq Chisti secured the mandate of BJP for her daughter Sehrish Chisti. She is contesting from the Namgal DDC constituency. Ex Member Legislative Assembly Aijaz Jan’s mother is contesting from the Mandi DDC constituency. She is contesting against Shahnaz Ganie who was earlier associated with JKNC. As per sources Shahnaz is being backed by BJP.
In south Kashmir Pir Mohammad Hussain who is associated with JKNC secured the mandate of Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) for his younger daughter. This reportedly gave rise to controversy in the constituency as Hussain’s son-in-law, Pir Mansoor who is associated with JKPDP as per sources was trying to get the mandate for his wife (elder daughter of Pir Mohammad Hussain).
Experts believe that DDC elected candidates may become influencers in the upcoming Legislative Assembly that is why those who are already in politics pitch their close relatives in DDC election so that it becomes easy for them to contest Assembly election whenever held in Jammu and Kashmir.
Some workers associated with different political parties during a chat with this reporter said that the DDC election, as well as the Block Development Council election, was important for them to strengthen their party at the grass-root level. They are of the opinion that in the upcoming Assembly election BDC and DDC candidates have a critical role in gathering votes for candidates to be fielded for the assembly elections.
“We cannot leave the ground at this stage if we want to stay in politics. Either we have to play role in this election or we have to leave politics once for all,” said a political worker, who is in his sixties.

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