PDP, BJP must listen to voices within

TNN Bureau. Updated: 1/9/2017 12:11:00 AM Edit and Opinion

On first death anniversary of former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, two contradictory and interesting views have emerged in particular connection with party’s alliance with the ideological rival Bhartiya Janta Party. The party president and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has asserted that the Agenda of Alliance –the working document between the two parties –is a perfect arrangement and guiding principle for fulfilling agenda of the Peoples Democratic Party. On the contrary, party’s senior leader Muzaffara Hussain Baig, who led memorial meetings in Jammu, called for review of the Agenda of Alliance. Aiming at both, his own party and the alliance partner BJP, Baig said, “the PDP worker is not getting adequate attention”. “We have space here (in Jammu) and we should stand as equal players with BJP and Congress (main regional forces)”. “If our district president is not heard, if our worker is not heard, then we need to have a relook at the Agenda of Alliance (the working document between PDP and BJP)”, said Baig. He further added, “we have time and we should think what could be done”. Now we have to understand the position from there both views are coming out: the first view is coming from the corridors of power where the party sits in and the second view is coming from the party which finds itself powerless. This may sound a little confusing –how there could be two things about the same situation. This has, basically, been the scenario right from the day one not only inside PDP but also in the BJP camp when both parties decided to join hands in early 2015. The PDP and BJP are ideological rivals and they will remain so, rather with enhanced bitterness after the term of present alliance is over. In wake of the hung verdict of 2014, the decision for alliance was made the highest level in both parties. The cadres were informed rather than consulted. This is where both the parties structurally split within and left some cracks in open. How? Those who got a share in power –the Ministers, the Members of the Upper House, the nominated MLAs, vice chairpersons of certain boards and corporations –joined the wagon of consent while those out of direct power nursed a sense of defeat and surrender. So those within direct positions of power will always keep on hailing the Agenda of Alliance. However, it is important that voices like that of Baig need to be listened to and addressed in an inclusive manner. This is a tall challenge as the dividends of this ideological reconciliation have yet to come.

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