Speculations over ‘Advisory Council’

With the speculations of an establishment of an advisory council that will assist lieutenant-general in Jammu Kashmir Union Territory, the political buzz is back here that has attracted a series of commentaries both from political as well as non-political players. Such a move also demeans the importance and competency of our present advisors in delivering to the best satisfaction of common man. It may be a sensation for many of us but its roots are traced to the seminar on “Kashmir after 370”, organized by Observer Research Foundation, in November 2019, when point man on Jammu Kashmir affairs Mr. Ram Madhav has stated that ‘based on ground reports received from the state, he had suggested to other leaders in the saffron outfit that political process in the newly created UT could commence soon’. Needless to mention here that when all the political heads were under detention the move was to strengthen BJP that had lost its credibility in the state and particularly from Jammu. At the same venue, former Governor of the erstwhile state of J&K NN Vohra had suggested that immediate task before the L-G of new UT was to get it back on track (Derailed because of abrogation of article 370 and disintegrating the erstwhile state) at the earliest and accord highest attention to education and employment, particularly in the Valley and to look for some priority areas as the civil administration needed to be honest and transparent in ensuring a safe and secure environment. In February 2020, again Ram Madhav was very enthusiastic and while speaking in a session on “India’s Political Future: Looking at 2024 and Beyond” moderated by Associate Editor at The Hindu, he asserted that the party was in favour of early restoration of political activity in Jammu and Kashmir and that despite the continued incarceration of top political leaders including three ex-Chief Ministers, political parties could start the process. BJP leader gives example of Indira Gandhi calling for elections at the end of the Emergency period when almost the entire Opposition was in jail. I am sure had elections been held in such situation, the BJP would have lost its face from JK, like Congress loosing badly after post emergency election. The BJP has ever been dreaming of power in Jammu Kashmir, it was Mr. Ram Madhav, who carefully crafted BJP-PDP alliance, in 2015 stating that ideologies are black and white, but politics in democracy has many shades. It is multi-layered and multi-colored and it was the same man who announced the departure from PDP in January 2018. An opportunistic alliance architected by opportunistic man ended on an opportunistic note.

The formation of much talked advisory council (An amalgamation of ‘Apni Party’ and BJP) trace its roots even prior to the coming of ‘Apni Party’ into existence by Altaf Bukhari and in its formation Mr. Madhav can easily be referred as his intentions to revive BJP’s eroded existence in Jammu Kashmir.  An announcement of forming a new political party came on 22 February 2020, immediately after a meeting (Secret) of Altaf Bukhari with Ram Madhav at Gulmarg. Ultimately the announcement took finality on 3rd March 2020, and ‘Apni Party’ came into existence. The new party claimed to be a platform for the common people, rejecting the idea of dynastic politics but at the same time, the new political party with cluster of politicians who have defected, resigned or were fired from different political parties including from PDP and NC. It is also dubbed as an offshoot of the BJP. The speculative formation of Advisory Council carries us to the memories of an Emergency Administration constituted by the National Conference to help the State Government to meet the emergency that was dissolved and replaced by an Interim Government vested with all the authority to conduct the administration of the State. Here we have to visualise also whether there is need of an administrative council when the people are somehow satisfied with the set up of present administrative unit in the union territory having four advisors to assist the Lt. Governor. In ever longest President’s rule in erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir from January 19, 1990 that lasted for six years and 264 days, no such political set up was seen.  This take we to conclusion that it is the political baby conceived by BJP and christened as ‘Administrative Council’ to directly assume power in association with its offshoot ‘Apni Party’. This is also a wicked move of BJP ruled government to infuse new hope of life in its unit of JK and especially Jammu that has transmigrated into a state of euthanasia.

We well understand that there is no alternate to elected representatives in democracy that always involve political process. In the current political vacuum any move like speculative Administrative Council with a choice of political persons of its interest that are  no more representative of the people is against the basic concept of democracy and is autocratic move on the part of any formation in power whether in UT or at the centre. It must be understood by those architecting such move that everyone in the union territory is honestly interested and willing in setting into motion the political process and it is the public opinion that such initiative be taken up as per laid down provisions in the constitution by holding elections as and when the favorable sensation is felt but not by the wicked way of assuming power the way in speculation. Although there is no provision for interim arrangement under the Jammu and Kashmir Re- Organisation Act- 2019 but any absurdity cannot be ruled out from present dispensation at the centre.  The remarks by a BJP’s top leader in Jammu tried to put a lid on the speculations of any Administrative Council in Jammu & Kashmir before Assembly elections are held but these leaders are voiceless in Delhi and roar only in Jammu to register their presence like frogs that make noise on different corners of a seasonal pond during winter and hibernate during tough time. Come what may, let us hope a good sense will prevail upon ‘Bahubalis’ of power and no any such undemocratic and un-constitutional move will be put in practical.


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