The Need Of The Hour : REHABILITATION OF PEOPLE IN KASHMIR

kamal-morarkaMaharashtra is going in for elections on October 15. There were two alliances here – one was the Congress-NCP and the other was the BJP-Shiv Sena. Both were ideologically compatible alliances, and it was thought that voters would have a clear choice whom to vote for. However, both the alliances have broken. Why? The BJP and the Shiv Sena apparently had a tussle on just two or three seats and from whatever information is coming out, it appears that one BJP leader made it a personal issue for a seat and that proved to be the undoing of the alliance. It is bad for both these parties, because their voter base is the same. And if they contest against each other they will only be giving an advantage to the other parties.
On the other hand, for the Congress-NCP alliance, it was widely rumored in Mumbai that if the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance breaks, the NCP too will break its alliance, because after the elections the NCP wants go with whichever party comes to power. That looks possible. It is sad, because western Maharashtra is the voter base for both the Congress and the NCP and their fighting against each other may be a zero-sum game. However, it is well known that Sharad Pawar wants to have a say in power, and he probably thinks that after these elections, if the NCP and the BJP can make some deal, he will also get power sharing at the Centre.

In Haryana, the best hope will be a hung Assembly because the Congress, with its record of ten years, cannot hope to return to power, and the BJP’s presence in Haryana is only reflected from the Central Government. They don’t have a strong caste or voter base in Haryana. So Chautala will have a major say in the election results. In a small Assembly with only 90 people, how the numbers stack up is too early to say. But definitely, Haryana deserves a better Government than what has been happening for the last ten years. Other State elections are still far away.

I think this is wishful thinking. What will really happen is that after this very messy break-up and finally when the results come in, it will be the BJP and the Shiv Sena which will be forced to have a post-poll alliance and make a Government, because the way scams have taken place in Maharashtra, the ruling alliance cannot hope to capture power. The irrigation scam is more on the NCP side. Therefore, it is not that the NCP which will get an advantage by breaking away from the Congress. So ultimately the BJP and the Shiv Sena may have to come together to form a Government, which will make even less sense of why they broke up before the elections. That is so far as Maharashtra is concerned.
In Haryana, the best hope will be a hung Assembly because the Congress, with its record of ten years, cannot hope to return to power, and the BJP’s presence in Haryana is only reflected from the Central Government. They don’t have a strong caste or voter base in Haryana. So Chautala will have a major say in the election results. In a small Assembly with only 90 people, how the numbers stack up is too early to say. But definitely, Haryana deserves a better Government than what has been happening for the last ten years. Other State elections are still far away.
Kashmir has become a very strange case because with their floods and the disruption it is very difficult to hold elections. I think Kashmir has to go for a dose of Governor’s rule and then fix fresh dates for the elections. One offshoot in Kashmir is that the Army has come into the good books of the common people because of the hard work that they have done in saving the flood victims and trying to reach food and necessities to them. Geelani’s wicket has become weaker, all his ranting against the Indian Government, against the Army, against the Indian establishment, has fallen weak.
In fact the Prime Minister offering help to the other side of Kashmir is a good point, it is a healthy sign that India wants to help in cases of distress without worrying about political issues or religious issues, or Kashmir’s secessionist people like Geelani who spoilt the last talks by going and meeting the Pakistan High Commissioner. I think overall the situation is quite good, but the need of the hour is to rehabilitate the people in Kashmir.

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