IMPORTANT QUESTIONS AFTER J&K VERDICT THROWS A HUNG ASSEMBLY

THE QUESTIONS

1. As projected, the hung assembly is here. The difference is, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are close number 2 and number 1, respectively. And both parties are under 30 – BJP(25), PDP (28) – as per the trends and results as of now. Who is the real king here?

2. Though PDP is 3 seats more than BJP, the swing for BJP is of 14 seats from its 2008 tally of 11 that is just double of 7 seats that PDP scored more this time. But the overall vote share of BJP, 23%, is more than PDP’s 22.5%. Also, when seen comparatively for the vote % in 2008 J&K assembly polls, the BJP gain is huge and unprecedented for party’s electoral history in the state. BJP’s vote % of 12.5% jumped to 23% (~11%) while the comparative increase in PDP’s vote % has been moderate, 15.4% to 22.5% (~7%). Doesn’t this make BJP the real winner of BJP’s assembly polls, irrespective of whether they join with ‘someone’ to form the government or sit in the opposition?

3. National Conference (NC) is third with 15 seats but Omar Abdullah, the outgoing chief minister who lost one of the two seats contested and could win one with slim numbers, has come out and said he is satisfied with the outcome and his ‘political obituary’ is not here yet. He says, after zero in the Lok Sabha polls, his party won 15 seats with two party supported independents and the tally of 17 is a positive development for him. Is this a result of an honest introspection or an immediate reflection to confront the criticism as both Congress and NC combined have just 2 seats more than BJP and BJP, a ‘not-so-relevant’ force so far in the state politics, has taken the space so far occupied by Congress and NC?

4. In the four-cornered fight, Congress is the last, with 12 seats, when it was in alliance with National Conference. Is Congress new BJP of J&K politics – the national party with a ‘fringe’ presence in the state?

5. The mandate is clearly not for NC and Omar Abdullah. An honest introspection should demand the outgoing government and the outgoing chief minister sit in opposition and work the way in for the next assembly polls. Yet, Omar says, as some reports say, he is open to go with PDP if the party approaches, saying if Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar can come together, why can’t PDP and NC. Plain speak Vs political opportunism in quick succession – desperate signs of Omar to handle the day’s developments? Even Omar’s 15 MLAs with PDP’s 28 would not make for the majority mark of 44 or his tally of ’17’ would give only a slim majority of one seat leaving space open for further manipulations to get the numbers (at any cost, that can be said if PDP and NC come together – an act of political opportunism)?

6. Is there possibility of ‘PDP + NC + Congress’ government? After all, there are no permanent friends or foes in politics, a cliché that Indian politicians and political parties follow as dictum.

7. Going by the dictum, can NC come along with BJP (28+15=43) to manage the numbers as both BJP and NC have support of some independents and others like Sajjad Lone that can easily take the ‘coalition’ beyond the ’44’ mark to prove majority in the assembly? ‘

8. Or it has to be about the most plausible combination by the numbers, PDP with BJP? They both make for 53 MLAs (28+25). With 2 MLAs of Sajjad Lone’s People Conference (PC), 55 is a good enough number in the 87-member state assembly to run the government. Leaders of both parties have been hinting about a possible coming-together after the ‘hung’ scenario was thrown out. As Narendra Modi didn’t mention even once the issue of Article 370 while campaigning, BJP and RSS can push it to the back seat and PDP, too, can go along with the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in J&K.

9. Or will it be about the evergreen political discourse of Indian politics – secular Vs communal – PDP + NC + Congress + Independents + other parties – bringing parties and independents against BJP on one platform – especially after BJP’s poor show in Kashmir Valley?

10. BJP has once again failed in the Valley. Except one, all BJP candidates lost their deposits in the Valley. The Muslim dominated region of J&K has rejected BJP and Narendra Modi given the fact Narendra Modi was the face of campaigning, both in Jharkhand and in J&K. Will the Modi Wave/Modi Wave remain a non-Muslim politics phenomenon?

11. How will this performance of BJP in the Kashmir Valley further affect/hurt the BJP chances to become a pan-India party with an acceptability across religions/communities?

12. For the national politics, isn’t the humiliating outcome in the Valley a warning signal for Narendra Modi that he needs to act fast and tough on erring and motormouth leaders making senseless statements on religious conversions, Hindu nationalism and provocative issues like ‘love-jihad’ when the central promise Narendra Modi made while asking for votes was ‘development’?

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

THE NEXT J&K GOVERNMENT?

Government Formation possibilities in Jammu & Kashmir

80 of the 87 assembly seats have been won by four main parties of the quadrangular contest. The largest party PDP has won 28 seats. Second largest party BJP has 25 seats. Outgoing chief minister Omar Abdulla’s National Conference has been able to win 15 seats while Congress, which split up with NC before the elections, could win only 12 seats.

This hung outcome makes the equations with these 7 seats highly interesting as they can make life easier for some possible equations in this scenario. 2 of these seats are with Sajjad Lone’s People Conference (PC) that will go with BJP. 2 of these seats are NC supported independent candidates out of total 3 independent winners. The other two seats are shared by Communist Party of India (Marxist) (1) and People Democratic Front (Secular) (1).

Now, with these numbers, what can be the possibilities of government formation in Jammu & Kashmir (going with the dictum that there are no permanent friends or foes in politics):

PDP + BJP = 28 + 25 = 53
Comfortably above majority requirement of 44 seats – with 2 members of Sajjad Lone’s PC, the alliance will be 55-member strong – going by the reports, back-channel talks are on, as indicated by the hints dropped by BJP and PDP spokespersons and other leaders – PDP would like to give this possibility the maximum preference as a friendly government in Delhi would make life much easier for the incoming state government

PDP + NC + Congress + NC supported Independents = 28 + 15 + 12 + 2 = 57
This one also makes for a stable equation in the number-game and going by the ‘secular Vs communal’ discourse, these three parties can come together to form the government

PDP + NC + NC supported Independents = 28 + 15 + 2 = 45
A majority of just one seat – can scout for one more independent and CPI(M) and PDP(S) winners taking the tally to 48 but that will be a cumbersome task and the majority obtained thus would be wafer thin, prone to manipulations

BJP + NC + PC + NC supported Independents = 25 + 15 + 2 + 2 = 44
Counting Omar’s options to join BJP in, now, this is an unacceptable majority number – just on the mark – even with managing seats of CPI(M), PDP(S) and one independent, (3 in all), the 47-member strong coalition would be a tricky alternative

Are there other combinations possible folks?

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/