COALITION & CONTROVERSIES

So the BJP-PDP coalition is a fait-accompli now. Mufti Mohammad Syed has assumed the reins of coalition Govt. on the assurance of a full six year term as Chief Minster. The oath of office was administered by Governor Vohra on 1st March 2015. A galaxy of leaders from BJP were present on the dias. Congress & NC boycotted the function.
Politics make strange bedfellows, as we all know, and when bedfellows are diametrically opposite partners like PDP & BJP trying to snuggle under the covers together, the whole scenario looks weirdly .

The installation of the Govt., since the very first moment, has not been without the share of controversies. The first major controversy is about the oath taken by Chief Minster. While the format of oath prescribed in fifth schedule to the constitution of J&K requires every Minster for State to swear for bearing true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the State as by law established, Mufti swore by bearing true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India. Whether it was a verbal disorder or word “India” flows naturally from his mouth instead of “State” remains to be seen. There could be another explanation, though far-fetched, that the faux-pas was deliberately committed for a future strategy. Suppose if tomorrow Mufti becomes a willing party to BJP’s sinister game plan of subverting the State Constitution outside the legal ambit (Which India usually does in Kashmir), then Mufti can escape the charges of treason by pleading that he was not bound to uphold the State Constitution as had not sworn by the same. The oath contains another error in as much as it has been taken as “Minster of State” and not as “Minster for State” which Mufti was required to do. In any case there is a grave lacuna in his oath and he may have to take a fresh one to rectify the constitutional & legal infirmity in his status. Remember Barrack Obama had to take a fresh oath when he failed to mention his full name, required by American laws, in his oath as first President. 

The second controversy generated by Mufti immediately after taking the invalid oath was his affording credit to Pakistan & pro-resistance camp for smooth conduct of elections in the State. This left the BJP leaders red faced and a ruckus in Parliament which forced Prime Minister Modi and his Home Minster to disown the statement. Mufti’s bête-noire at the moment & leader of opposition in Rajya Saba Ghulam Nabi Azad did his best to undermine his one time close associate Mufti’s position in the centre but BJP handled the position deftly. Its spokesmen exercised utmost restraint in-spite of grave provocations from Arnob Goswami likes of jingoistic media-men. It must, however be said that this was a master stroke statement from Mufti to further divide the Hurriyat, the way he did it in 2002. His purpose was to make various factions of Hurriyat suspicious of each other for lending covert support to Mufti’s election campaign leading to a further bad blood among them. His job had already been made easy by Mr. Bhatt of Hurriyat (M) visiting his Srinagar residence earlier under suspicious circumstances. 

The third major controversy is generated by former pro-resistance turned Pro-India leader Sajjad Gani Lone’s refusal to take charge of the Ministry allotted to him out of BJP quota. Peeved at the insignificant portfolio allotted to him, Lone did not attend and has not, till the writing of this article, attended his Ministerial office. He left the winter capital fuming & seething and in a subsequent interview to a news channel has complained of spending huge money on elections. By implication, he was prevented to recover back this money by being allotted an insignificant portfolio. This statement from a close ally of BJP speaks volumes about the party which has mainly come to power on anti-corruption plank.

Let us wait & watch how these controversies are going to affect the coalition of aliens in coming days.

(The author is a practicing chartered Accountant. E mail: abdulmajidzargar@gmail.com)

 

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