NC-Congress On Death Bed

21 May 2014
Rising Kashmir
Daya Sagar

Srinagar: Election results for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls have in a way sent the message that National Conference has been politically demolished in Jammu & Kashmir. The loud and clear lessons that must be taken by NC are that its policy of Kashmir Valley Centric approach has ultimately reduced NC ( that had a total voice in the Constituent Assembly of J&K in 1951) to a sub regional party totally rejected even by Kashmir Valley ( the smallest region of J&K). NC is 4rth (11.1%) in the vote share after BJP (32.4%) CONG (22.9%), PDP (20.5%). NC and Congress jointly contested elections and still could jointly muster only as much vote share as BJP could do. During 2014 poll campaigns, the stance NC had adopted surprised many. The prime leadership in a way speaking very near to the language of separatists, even when the party was ruling in J&K and had also a Union Minister in the Central cabinet. From such approach it could be inferred that all these years the mainstream parties had not done anything to counter the anti India and separatist opinions expressed by some in Kashmir Valley. Instead some features regarding J&K ( Art-370, State Flag, J&K Constitution etc) were wrongly presented to the local people and outside world as symbols worth distancing J&K from India (even constitutionally). It has been unfortunate for the innocent subjects of J&K that even the Indian leaders (and those who held the reins of governance) too remained occupied with Kashmir Valley centric opinions. Where ever wrong interpretations were made by some J&K main stream leaders ( even those heading the local government ) like Omar Abdullah J&K Chief Minister saying on the floor of the house that J&K has not merged with India like other states, the same were not corrected by center. No advisory was issued to State leaders asking them to distance from making incorrect interpretations. The result has been that in 2014 NC could find no other way out for competing with People Democratic Party than adopting an approach that was atleast not expected from Dr. Farooq Abdullah (who has been the biggest loser). The results are sure to change the perceptions about J&K outside J&K. So far the commentators, opinion makers, political analysts and even 'many' of those who ruled at Delhi have been carrying the impressions that whatever opinions are expressed, suggestions are made, demands are made and challenges are expressed by the ( some) leaders belonging to Kashmir Valley are the only representative character of the whole State of J&K. The world opinion too would get corrected and hence if corrected, efforts of those who may be working for bringing peace and normalcy in J&K may see some success. Atleast Delhi needs to receive such signals. Ofcourse as regards Pakistan the election results have no direct effect. But since these election results are likely to blow off the fantasies like Kashmir Valley being the only face of J&K, the world opinion about the issues and problems of 'J&K' may now get recast as that of an 'Indian State of J&K'. The real profiles of Indian State of J&K emerging with three distinct regions with marked localized political aspirations could be worth taking notice. Ladakh and Jammu Regions totally rejecting National Conference - Congress Combine and their going with BJP has enough for those who may be doing back channel handling J&K affairs . Kashmir Valley rejecting National Conference and going with PDP has much for the solution seekers. But these election results have also some 'wise counsel' for National Conference. The distancing approach cannot now woo the innocent Kashmir Valley people in favour of only one class of local 'mentors' who claim to be the saviors of aspirations of Kashmiris. National Conference will have to adopt a J&K centric approach and work for undoing its valley centric acts like Jammu and Kashmir 29th Constitution Amendment Act, 2002 that has in a way deferred the Delimitation of Legislative Assembly Segments till 2031 (as was go done by NC in 2002 fearing that since the people of Jammu and Ladakh Regions were getting more and more aware of the laws- constitutional provisions it may not be possible to manage irrational Delimitation in 2011). NC for its survival will have to start a new process for rebuilding its good will in Jammu - Ladakh Regions instead working for only Kashmir Valley. The author can be mailed at