A Clueless Coalition

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Ever since the PDP-BJP coalition came to power in J and K about four months back, the situation, both political and economic, in the Kashmir valley has been going from bad to worse. What has worsened the situation further is complete silence from the authorities, right from various ministers to the Chief Minister himself, who is practically on mute mode. The downward slide of the coalition and the acrimony between the coalition partners began with release of Masarat Alam and his subsequent re-arrest at the insistence of BJP. Then there was a raging controversy about the BJP’s proposal of settling the migrant Pandits in exclusive ghettos in the valley. The proposal fizzled out within a few weeks. Even when these controversies hadn’t yet completely died down, many civilians were killed in some parts of the valley which lead to protests, further leading to a few more deaths at the hands of security forces. The State responded with typical silence, perhaps expecting that with the passage of time, the resentment and the anger within people would naturally die. But then the situation took a completely new turn, with mysterious killings happening in the town of Sopore. So far seven people have been killed in the town in the last two months, with police yet to nab any of the culprits involved in these killings. The town has been wearing a ghost look after these killings.

The theatre of violence and turmoil has been quickly shifting this year in the valley. In the last one week, two more incidents have not only brought the incompetence of this Govt to the fore. First it was the entry of police inside the Kashmir University campus where they used violence against agitating students. The students were protesting the arrest of one of their colleagues who was arrested last week for making some comments against the Yoga day. Since then the situation in the campus is tense and it has been officially closed for few days. This has been seen as an act of complete highhandedness by the Govt. The PDP’s election slogan of ‘’Battle of Ideas’’ sounds very ironic now and looks like mocking it in the face.

Not that it is only the security situation that has deteriorated. Even in case of last year’s flood victims, the State Govt has not been able to bring any cheer and relief. The rehabilitation efforts are happening at snail’s pace. The Govt has been able to secure a mere 1500 crore from the central Govt for tiding over the crisis of last year’s floods.

PDP had promised a more responsive and cleaner Govts in the run up to its election campaign. People in the State were disillusioned with the performance of the previous NC-Congress Govt. Though PDP did not achieve a majority on its own, it was in a position to cobble up an alliance with the BJP. This coalition was supposed to bring relief to the people of the State, given that BJP is also ruling at the centre. So far, this coalition hasn’t given any signals about any likelihood of a positive change in the State. Within a few months of this new Govt, there is growing anger and frustration among the people, more so in the valley.

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