Thursday, March 21, 2013

PDP needs apples

By Naseer A Ganai

Either you believe in electoral politics or you don’t believe in it. Either you say 'electoral politics is sham' and you remain away from it or you consider it as part of democratic process, and participate in it. But the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has no beliefs. It seems it is a party bereft of any belief.

It participated in 2008 elections, improved its tally in the Assembly, but it failed to form the government. Fair enough.
Now what is next course for the party: To raise issues of public importance, sensitize the government about them and force the government to address public grievances.

In other words, the next course for the party is to play politics. That is the only thing, which political parties do. They play it everywhere. So does the PDP. Its members play it before the court of Arnab Gowsami, Barkha Dutt and Rajdeep Sardesai. 

Before the single bench of Justice Gowsami, former advocate general and former deputy chief minister, Muzaffer Hussain Baig, presents arguments that all problems in Kashmir is because of miss-governance of Omar  Abdullah. Mehbooba Mufti takes the same argument to the court of Barkha Dutt and Nizamudin Bhat also argues on the same lines before Rajdeep Sardesai.

But in the Assembly where the party has to raise the issue of miss-governance, it simply allows the 'miss-governance' to function. It is strange. The party does nothing in the Assembly since the day the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah took oath of the office.

It seems it is in state of mourning over the loss of power and is not coming out of the shock. PDP doesn't say the elections were farce, New Delhi selected Omar Abdullah, thrust him on people and we don’t want to be part of this business because we deserved to be in power. Hence, hereby we resign. That is fine. But they don’t say it. They don’t resign from the Assembly. Then next course for you, being a mainstream political party, is to enter in the Assembly and raise issues, break mikes, break tables and shout as much as you can. But you don’t do it either.

You criticized and condemned the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, in 2010. That year when the Assembly session started in September in Srinagar, Mehbooba Mufti gave a heart rendering speech about how 112 boys were killed by the government forces. And the next thing she does was to boycott the Assembly. Thus she allowed the government, the chief minister and other ministers to speak and talk, press bills and get them passed.

Davinder Singh Rana, once former political advisor to the chief minister and now NC Jammu chief, often says that PDP has alliance with the BJP. But circumstantial evidence negates Rana's theory. it suggests there is an alliance between Omar Abdullah’s NC and the PDP.

The party again walked out of the Assembly without throwing any challenge to the government. The party had so many issues to corner the government. But it repeated 2010: walked away and boycotted the Assembly. It left the field open for Engineer Rashid, who is playing one man opposition in the Assembly. Unlike PDP, Engineer Rashid has no pretensions. He is in the Assembly and talks, disrupts speeches, and throws mikes according to the situation. It is his way of protest. He is an insider and has no pretension to be outside the system.

Like 2010, this time also, for initial days PDP raised issues in the Assembly and then boycotted the Assembly and allowed the Government to conduct the business smoothly. For two days it raised slogans in the House and then allowed ministers to give whatever statement they wanted to give. For two days it talked in Assembly and then left room open for Sham Sharma, Jughal Kishore and others.

PDP condemns Omar Abdullah and his government outside the House but allows him and his government to speak inside the House. It describes Rahim Rather's budget as 'jugglery of figures', but that is said outside the Assembly. Inside the Assembly situation is different. PDP is not there and grants get passed without any hassle. Divinder Rana, instead of saying that PDP is ally of the BJP, should say:  “we have got an ally in PDP, hell with Congress, we don’t need their support, PDP is likely to support us from outside.”

Now PDP criticises A.S Dulat, former R&AW chief, for advocating that New Delhi should put all apples in Farooq Abdullah’s basket. They meant that -- we too have a basket and for past four years it is yearning for some apples, please drop some in it. It seems all that the party wants is some apples from Farooq’s basket. That is why it boycotts the Assembly and allows, what it calls, miss-governance to show its performance.