New Delhi: Two days after the BJP pulled out of the alliance with PDP in Jammu & Kashmir, former chairman of the National Minorities Commission and a one-time J&K IAS cadre officer Wajahat Habibullah said that it looked like the BJP did not want a popular government.
“Democratic interests demand that elections be held as soon as possible, but then it is quite possible that the central government keeps on extending the Governor’s rule. It looks like they don’t want a popular government,” he told News18.
Reflecting on the elections in Anantnag, a seat that fell vacant after Mehbooba Mufti became the CM, Habibullah said there was no law and order situation that stopped the elections there. The elections were to be held last year in April but have been deferred since.
“There is no law and order situation that stops the government from holding elections in Anantnag. They still haven’t done it. The need of the hour is to ensure that the democratic setup is made real in Jammu & Kashmir,” he further said, adding that the two parties had shown a glimmer of democracy when they came together, despite different ideologies, but had failed in upholding it.
Habibullah further suggested that current governor NN Vohra continue with his term since the state’s political leadership was already in turmoil.
There are reports of Lt General DS Hooda, General Dalbir Suhag being the top contenders for the position once Vohra’s term ends soon. Habibullah, however, added that if at all Vohra had to be suceeded by someone, the government must not have an Army person in the position.
“Changing an experienced man in terms of the affairs of the state is the last thing that Jammu & Kashmir needs,” he added.
The BJP had pulled out of the alliance saying that the state’s law and order was deteriorating and it had become “untenable” to continue with the PDP. Habibullah said former CM Mehbooba Mufti had been subjected to a lot of misunderstanding. The tragedy of the situation, he added, was that she felt strongly for her people who did not reciprocate the feeling.
“The current government has ensured that the Army has a larger role to play in the Valley than the local police in terms of law and order. So, how can the central government blame the PDP of having handled the law and order situation badly?” Habibullah said.
He recalled the 2010 protests in the state where then CM Omar Abdullah had to request the Army to intervene.
“The then CM had to request the Army to help. Now we have an Army chief who says that the forces will go about doing their job irrespective of who is in power at the state. What does that show? With the current government, the trust in law and order is through the Army and not the local police,” he said.