Better or for worse?

Kashmir Split

By Insaf

Better or for worse, is a question doing the rounds in Kashmir. The two mismatched partners, the PDP and BJP’s bid to brew a compatible relationship that would usher in acche din in the strife-torn Valley has turned sour and as expected unpalatable. Worse, it has been a gigantic blunder for both State and New Delhi, as far from improving, the situation has turned worse. The State is back under the command of Governor Vohra, fourth time in past decade. Many, however, feel there could be some semblance of order as with the responsibility now solely on Delhi’s shoulders, the Centre would have no excuses. BJP’s reasoning of the situation going out of hand in the Valley being due to PDP’s ‘soft approach’ and that a ‘muscular strategy’ is required doesn’t have many takers. After all they were together for three years. Instead, election 2019 seems to be the cause. Be that as it may, the Centre would need to tread with extra caution. Its immediate challenge is the Amarnath yatra and an undisturbed passage should give hope. For peace, there would need to be a different ball game. Delhi Drama Delhi government doesn’t give up, does it? The politician-bureaucracy wrangle has citizens squirming. No one would have imagined the kind of dharna that Chief Minister Kejriwal resorted to-along with his deputy Sisodia and some Cabinet colleagues he laid siege at none other than the Lt Governor Baijal’s office for nine days! The demand: capital’s administration should resume functioning after a stand-off since February when Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash was allegedly assaulted. Thankfully, after four months both sides agreed to kiss and make up. On Wednesday last, all ministers held series of meetings with IAS officers and Sisodia announced “The work has started and is going on a fast pace.” However, the IAS fraternity is not completely reassured of its “safety” and will continue its five minute ‘silent protest’ even as Kejriwal calls them as ‘family’. Citizens would be keeping fingers crossed the truce lasts and governance doesn’t become a victim again.
TN Protests
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E K Palaniswami’s woes seem never-ending. Protests, which have become a standard practice, would be giving a nagging headache. Close on the heels of 13 protestors being killed in police firing in Tuticorin, the AIADMK government is faced with more protests. This time by farmers against the Rs 10,000-crore eight-lane Salem-Chennai Greenfield corridor, with the Tamil Nadu Vivasaigal Sangam along with farmers’ groups giving a call to launch massive protests. But it is not easy, as they accuse the government of imposing an ‘undeclared emergency’, wherein police is being deployed in villages to prevent people from joining protests and on Wednesday arrested 24 farmers from attending a meeting against the project etc. As a reaction, it has now been decided that the farmers would hoist black flags at their homes and lands on June 26, its unions will burn the government order for the highway project on July 6 and shall throw away survey stones which have been installed for the project without their consent. The AIADMK government must tread cautiously as the growing upheaval gives Opposition DMK, waiting in the wings, a handle to buttress it’s time for fresh governance.
Maharashtra BJP Sidelining
Maharashtra may well turn out to be a political nightmare for the BJP. Close on the heels of its partner, the Shiv Sena saying a big no for any future alliance in elections, a number of dalit groups, backward classes and tribes have formed a political alliance ‘Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi’ (VBA), under leadership of Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar. The aim is to give the ‘deprived classes’ representation in the Lok Sabha and thus the VBA is going to work towards contesting all 48 from the State. It has kept its doors open for any ‘progressive’ political party, which must agree to give two tickets each to representatives from nomadic tribes, the Mali, Dhangar and Muslim communities and OBCs. The plan will kick off from Kohlapur on June 27 for a state-wide tour, with focus on farmers’ grievances and education. Interestingly, it sees the Congress as having lost the plot and shall tie up with regional parties who can take on the BJP and RSS. More headaches for BJP chief Amit Shah?
Yoga Politics In Bihar
Bihar’s JD(U)-BJP alliance got a tweak on International Yoga Day. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar chose to ignore Prime Minister Modi’s appeal and skipped a programme organised by the government to mark the occasion on Thursday last. The JD(U) sees its partner doing “politics’ in the name of yoga and says that yoga is a part of Indian culture, a personal choice and do it in their homes (including Nitish). Thus, making a public display of it is wrong, and so along with Nitish, number of his leaders stayed away from the function. The remarks should irk other Chief Ministers who participated in the public display in many BJP-ruled States. Be that as it may, this latest subtle hit at knock by Nitish strengthens rumours that all is not well in the alliance. Recently, he supported Andhra Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s (estranged BJP partner) demand for special status category, which he is pushing for his State too. These pin-pricks should make Nitish’s move come under New Delhi’s scanner. And Modi should realise that at least here yoga is no unifying force!
Jharkhand ‘Lynching’?
Yet another case of mob lynching surfaces in Jharkhand. And as usual mystery surrounds it. On Tuesday last, a man from the minority community died in Rajrappa, creating yet another controversy over beef in Ramgarh. The man on a motorcycle reportedly was hit by a van and meat, incidentally ‘beef’ fell out of his motorcycle and a few hours later he was found dead few metres from the accident site. It was only after gruesome images of his body came up on social media did his family realise it was him. They have filed an FIR and said his body bore severe bruises and even acid burns. However, the police say it is yet to ascertain whether the meat is beef and what led to the man’s death. The family fears the government is trying to hush up the case as the State is infamous for its gau rakshak brigade. Remember, this March 11 people were convicted in a case involving lynching of a man as he was suspected of transporting beef. This case is now under the scanner.
Gujarat ‘Poaching’
In politics, poaching of party representatives is turning out to be a ‘big game’. The Congress had packed off 34 of its panchayat members from Patan and Ahmedabad districts to some cities in Rajasthan fearing poaching by enemy BJP, days before elections are to be held for the panchayat president and vice-president posts! As the polls were to take place on June 20, the Congress brought two of its candidates back a day before to file nominations and the rest on polling day. Till then they had been kept in hiding for a week as there was fear that the BJP would try to get them either through “bribe, persuasion or even threats”. However, the saffron party sees the move as Congress unable to keep its flock together, despite it holding both the posts. Recall, the high drama last year during the Rajya Sabha election for a lone seat, when the Congress took its 44 MLAs to a Bengaluru resort to ensure the BJP didn’t get hold of a single one for the prestigious contest. The trend unfortunately seems to have become part of the system, with poaching being a favourite mantra!—INFA